Are you saying what you think you are saying? A guide to hand signals in Mexico

First, I want to say Happy New Year to all my readers. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Three Kings Day or whichever holiday you follow. Wishing everyone a wonderful 2020.

This post will be different in that I will be posting three videos. Everyone talks with their hands to some extent and I just want you all to be aware that some hand signals mean something quite different than what they mean in your home country. This could lead to someone not understanding you right up to you having just insulted them, their family or their children.

These videos are by no means thorough and exhaustive. Rather, they are small examples of how you can be misinterpreted without verbally saying anything improper.

First, a general introduction:

The next video is about counting numbers with your fingers

Next I will discuss height. This is where you could really get into trouble, and I still occasionally indicate it wrong when talking about children. I quickly correct myself and my friends understand – because I’m a gringa and still learning.

And here is my final video – my very first lesson that illustrated that hand signals did not necessarily mean what I thought they meant.

So there you have it. I hope you have enjoyed these videos and perhaps I will include more of them in future posts. Even after four years living here and having my permanent residency, I still am not aware of the many ins and outs of social interaction. Old habits die hard. You can take the girl out of New York, but you can’t take New York out of the girl and fortunately I haven’t done anything seriously offensive.

I just wanted to illustrate that when you visit another country, or even different parts of your own country, be prepared to find out through experience that all the book learning and classroom time might not have prepared you for real-life experiences. But then, that’s part of the joy of exploring the world and meeting people from walks of life different from yours.

So – have a wonderful day, and see you next time.

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