50ActivitiesforAchievingCulturalCompetency
Reproducedfrom50ActivitiesforAchievingCulturalCompetence,byJonamayLambert,
SelmaMyers,andGeorgeSimons,editors.Amherst,MA:HRDPress,2000,2008
[Handout1page2]
Signs of approval
Mainstream American gestures, such as the
“okay” sign, the “thumbs up” signal, and the
“V,” can be considered offensive in many other
cultures. All three have sexual connotations.
Culture tip for hand gestures
While most people from other ethnic groups
are probably aware that these gestures are not
intended to be offensive, there is likely to be a
culturally based meaning associated with the
gestures that might cause embarrassment or
discomfort. To avoid any difficulty, it is best to
avoid hand gestures.
Touching
Touch Don’t Touch Middle Ground
Middle Eastern Japanese French
Latin American American and Canadian Chinese
Italian English Irish
Greek Scandinavian Indian
Spanish, Portuguese Australian
Russian Estonian

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