Just for kids


June 25, 1998|By Amanda Vogt | Amanda Vogt,Chicago Tribune

Traveling abroad? Be careful how you express yourself

Gestures Americans consider harmless, even polite, are considered rude in other countries. Here's some handy advice:

* All thumbs: If you should find yourself in Australia eating shrimp off the barbie, don't express your satisfaction to the cook with a "thumbs up." If you do, you're likely to get a punch in the nose. The gesture expressing satisfaction in America is the equivalent of a raised middle finger Down Under.

* Sign language: The "OK" sign (formed by making a circle with thumb and forefinger) seems harmless enough, right? But in Spain, Greece and South America, it's an obscene gesture. In France, it means that something is worthless.

* Chew on this: Most people consider it obnoxious to loudly chew or pop gum in a public place. But in New Zealand, France, Germany and Poland, chewing gum at all in public is considered rude.

* Food faux pas: When dining in the Philippines, it's considered rude to eat everything on your plate. But in Finland, it's rude not to.

Pub Date: 6/25/98

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She wanted to keep up with

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Brad: Uh, between the ages of 9 and 10, I gruesome!

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On flying saucers!

Pub Date: 6/25/98

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