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Inna Yarovenko


Nonverbal Communication in Australia:

Gestures in Australia


"Thumbs Up”

·     In western countries people recognize a "thumbs up" gesture as a sign of approval; in Australia it is considered a rude gesture having a meaning similar to that of a raised middle finger.

·     A "Peace sign" given with the palm side of the hand facing the communicator is considered a rude, very bad and vulgar gesture in Australia. A "Peace sign" given with the palm out means "peace" or "victory” the same as in  North America.


·     If a man winks at a woman, it would be considered inappropriate in Australia. Though many people in the United States think of it as a harmless gesture, in Australia it is often considered too suggestive.

 "Placing a Glass Squarely on the Bar”

·     In many western countries it is common for men to finish an alcoholic drink and then place their glasses upside down on the bar or table, demonstrating that they've left nothing in the glass. In Australia, this gesture is a way of saying that a person may want to fight

·     The "OK sign”

In most of the countries it is considered to be a good gesture. The OK sign is used by drivers as well showing that everything is good. People use it for simple language replying for example: "I’m good doing good today”. In Australia it means "zero”


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