Topics: Index finger, Hand, Semiotics Pages: 1 (270 words) Published: March 27, 2013

There are many symbols and gestures that are used through out the world that have a certain positive meaning in one place but have the total opposite negative meaning in another. It has been discovered that only a small percentage of our communication in the world is conveyed by words. Most other communication is shown by body language and our tone of voice. An example of this is the a-ok symbol, it is a common gesture that in the United States as well as many other countries means that’s everything is okay. When putting your index finger and thumb together to make a circle figure, your letting someone knows that everything is perfectly fine. However, this gesture is seen as an insult in other countries such as southern Europe and South America, specifically Venezuela and mainly Brazil. In these places the gesture basically means “asshole”. The symbol looks like the number 9, and when it is parallel to the ground, it can be seen as having a strong negative connotation. This symbol can also be seen has a reference to homosexuality, and being equivalent to the middle finger here in the United States. Every culture is different in their own ways, whether it’s their religion, food, society, clothing, education, and even gestures and symbols. Each culture has their own way of life and what is seen as normal to one is probably the complete opposite to another. Our innocent a-ok gesture is a common use of body language in Western Civilization, but to Brazil and other countries, the expression is seen as vulgar and discriminating.
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