A very important issue in inter-cultural communication is the varied difference in the gestures and practices across cultures of the world. For Americans it is quite troublesome that the peace sign is actually taken as showing the finger in nations like United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia. Actually, the palm needs to face outwards so that an individual is not mistaken in this context.
In the United States of America, thumbs up is taken as a common positive gesture, while in Iran the gesture as the worst possible insult and hence it needs to be avoided. In the Muslim world, shaking hands between people of different genders is not taken to be normal. Even touching people from the other sex and even looking at them is taken as a big thing.
In the countries of India and Albania the people use nodding their heads up-down and right-left as signs for “yes” and “no” respectively. In stark contrast, in Bulgaria, the gesture is quite different in comparison to what it means in India and Albania. In the nation of Bulgaria, when a person shaks one’s head left to right, it means “yes”, while shaking it up and down means a “no”.
In the mosques and temples of Asia, one needs to take the shoes off before entering the pious places. If one hails from the American culture, he or she needs to remember that if the shoes are not kept outside, it would mean serious offense.
For an American, to live a life in the Muslim world might seem to be a huge impediment due to the stringent rules and regulations and the stigma which comes with different gestures and actions of the people.
An individual who comes from outside the American culture might similarly miss out on understanding the bonhomie of communication in the nation. In case the person is coming from a culture where there are customary rules for eating like that in India or Japan, that person might feel out of place in America.
Thus, these differences of understanding and actions can create gap in communication among people who come from different cultures of the globe.
Pegg, David. (2012). 25 Cultural Faux Pas You Don’t Want To Commit While Traveling. In List
25. Retrieved from http://list25.com/25-cultural-faux-pas-you-dont-want-to-commit-while-
Top Twenty Cultural faux Pas. Retrieved from
MacIntyre, Wayne. Top Ten International Faux Pas. Retrieved from