Thursday, November 4, 2010

Czech Gestures

In America, we have a lot of gestures we think are fairly universal. Shrugging your shoulders means “I don’t know.” Holding your thumb upright outstretched from a closed fist means “good job” or “ok.” While these are found in Czech culture, there are other gestures that are not found in American culture.

For example, pointing at your forehead or temple with your finger means, “You’re stupid or not that bright.” Holding one’s hand in a closed fist with the thumb inside is a way to wish someone good luck. Slapping one’s palm over the top of their fist is an obscene gesture related to sex. Holding one’s hand with the fingers outstretched, thumb pointed toward the nose, is a way or ridiculing or jeering the other person. Holding your hand in a fist with the index finger and pinkie outstretched is a rude gesture to indicate to the receiver that their partner is cheating on them. It’s often used at football (soccer) games when the crowd disagrees with the referee’s decision.

-Heather Tinley, Opera Colorado Marketing Coordinator

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