April 11, 2003
The Semiology of Celebration

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Decoding Iraq's symbols of celebration

"Much has already been made of the thumbs-up gesture that British and American soldiers have received from 'welcoming' Iraqis. Unlike in many western cultures, in the Middle East the thumbs-up can be an insult, roughly translating as 'up yours'. But the US Army's Defense Language Institute says that after the first Gulf War, the gesture was adopted by some Iraqis, along with the ok sign, as a 'symbol of co-operation and freedom'."

Coming from the "US Army's Defense Language Institute", I'm inclined to wonder if we're getting the finger after all.

via MeFi

Posted by tmonkey at April 11, 2003 01:40 AM
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