1. In the United States, common gesture for getting someone's attention, as when calling a waiter is to raise a hand about head high with the index finger raised (exactly the girl's hand gesture on Samulli's header)
- If an American used that gesture to a waiter in Germany, saying "Water please," the German waiter would bring two glasses of water
- In Japan it is rude; pointing a finger at anyone is considered impolite
3. The same hand gesture means "come here" in America. But in countries as widespread as the former Yugoslavia and Malaysia, the gesture is used only for calling animals. Therefore, using it to call a human would be terribly impolite.
4. In Indonesia and Australia, is it also used for beckoning "ladies of the night."
- North Americans do not customarily use this gesture and may consider it uncomfortable, effeminate, or puzzling
- If not done properly in some European countries, particularly Italy and Greece, this gesture might be confused with one used to signal "good-bye." In that case, while the palm faces down, the fingers are waggled up and down as opposed to making an inward, scratching motion.
6. In Colombia, one way to get a waiter's attention is to clap the hands lightly.
- In Mexico, they purse and pucker their lips and make a kissing noise with the lips
8. In Spain, Mexico, Haiti, when calling a waiter, restaurant patrons can be heard issuing a noise with the lips, something like "hssst," or "psssssst."
- In the Philippines, I remember teachers in the grades emphasizing to us that whistling to call a waiter's attention is done only by uneducated people who live far away from civilization.
- It's similar with fine restaurants in Thailand; at least the ones I experienced. Waiters are on stand-by the whole time you are dining.
11. Vulcan farewell - is a Jewish priestly benediction, Leonard Nimoy, the Vulcan space alien recalled having seen in synagogues, where its significance is that it resembles the Hebrew letter that is the first letter of a word that represents God's name.
12. In Europe, the customary way to wave "hello" or "goodbye" is with the arm up and extended out, with palm down, and just the hand bobbing up and down at the wrist (Figure 2.8).
13. Semaphore action - it is the term used to describe how Americans tend to wave goodbye (Figure 2.7).
Source: Axtell, R. E. (1998). Gestures: The do's and taboos of body language around the world. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Play T13 here.