5 Surefire Ways to Offend the Locals

By , Monday, Jul 12, 2010, 5:33 PM

Source Article: 5 Surefire Ways to Offend the Locals

Greece Don't thrust your palm, fingers extended, toward someone in a downward swat. Called the moutza, this crude hand signal means "Screw off!" or "That's ridiculous! (Illustration by Jason Lee)

Southern Italy Don't point your two hands toward the ground as if you're holding two pistols, with the back of your hands visible to the other person. The message: You're threatening to beat the person up—or saying you could beat them up if you wanted to. (Illustration by Jason Lee)

Thailand Don't point your foot at a person or a religious icon. The message: Feet are the "lowest" part of the body, according to the spiritual hierarchy of Thai Buddhism, so you're basically insulting someone or something as the lowest of the low. (Illustration by Jason Lee)

United Kingdom Don't create a V shape with your index and middle fingers, with the back of your hand directed at the other person. It's like giving someone the finger in the U.S. (Illustration by Jason Lee)

Bangladesh and Iran Don't flash the thumbs-up sign. It means about the same thing as flipping the bird in the U.S. (Illustration by Jason Lee)