The same gestures in different nations may have different meanings.
The connection of the thumb and forefinger is "ok" in English-speaking countries, an approving, positive gesture. But in France it is an expression of negative emotions, and in Brazil it is considered vulgar. Different cultures interpret the gesture in different ways - from admiration to a serious insult (“you are absolute zero.”) Head shaking from side to side, which means “no” in Russia and most European countries, in Bulgaria, Greece and India - “yes ”, While a nod of the head is disagreement. The Neapolitans have a negative gesture - a head upturned with a disapprovingly protruding lower lip.
If in Holland you turn your index finger at your temple, implying some kind of stupidity, then you will not be understood. There, this gesture means that someone said a very witty phrase. Speaking about himself, the European points to the chest, and the Japanese to the nose. In some African countries, laughter is an indicator of amazement and even confusion, and not at all a manifestation of fun.
If a Frenchman rubs the base of his nose with his index finger, he warns "something is unclean here", "these people cannot be trusted." The gesture is very close to the Italian tapping of the index finger on the nose, it means: "there is danger ahead", "it looks like they are up to something." In Holland the same gesture has a different meaning - "I am drunk" or "you are drunk", and in England - "conspiracy and secrecy."
The "horns" formed from the index finger and the little finger serve the Italians to "ward off the evil eye." Try to gesticulate like that in front of a Frenchman - and he will think that they want to call him a cuckold.
Thumb up can mean completely different things. For hitchhikers, he to stop passing transport, raising his hand in front of him - "everything is fine", and jerking his hand up and showing his thumb over his shoulder - "Fuck you!". It's in Europe. In Muslim countries, the gesture is indecent. In Saudi Arabia, when you rotate with your thumb up, you say "get out of here!"
If a French, German or Italian thinks any idea is stupid, he emphatically knocks himself on the head, and if a German slaps himself on the forehead with an open palm, then this is the equivalent of exclaiming: "You're crazy!" Germans, Americans, French and Italians tend to draw a spiral at the head with their index finger, which means: "Crazy idea ...". An Englishman or a Spaniard knocks himself on the forehead, being pleased, and not with anyone, but with himself. If a Dutchman, knocking himself on the forehead, stretches his index finger up - he appreciated the intelligence of the interlocutor. But if the finger points to the side, it means that the brain is on one side.
A typical Italian gesture - a boat-shaped palm - means a question, a call for explanations. A similar gesture in Mexico is an appeal to pay for information: "I won't tell you anything for free."
In Lapland, greeting each other, rub their noses. The Europeans, saying goodbye, wave their hand, lifting it up and wiggling their fingers. The American will interpret this gesture as "come here." Saying goodbye, Americans hold their palm horizontally, only slightly raising it, as if they are patting someone on the head or shoulder. When saying goodbye, Russians usually wave their hand not back and forth, but from side to side, however, a Latin American would take this as a gesture of invitation. Inhabitants of the Andaman Islands in parting bring the palm of a friend to their lips and gently blow on it.
In Argentina, a police officer can point out indecent behavior to a person with his hands in his trouser pockets.
If a passer-by in Tibet shows you his tongue, it will mean - “I am not plotting anything against you. Stay calm!". In Europe, this example is not worth following. In India, the thumbnail image of the tongue of a snake means "you are a liar!" To express admiration, the inhabitants of Spain and Mexico will fold three fingers, press them to their lips and reproduce the sound of a kiss.
The completely indecent gesture (middle finger pointing up) has become known in almost all continents thanks to cinema. But in France, our domestic "cookie" has the same meaning. And in Japan and Thailand it will be perceived as offering a full range of sexual services ...
The smile is universal. It is used and correctly perceived in every country and every culture.