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Across all boundaries

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Wind In My Hair
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Across all boundaries

Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 20 Jan 2006 5:33 pm

is there any word or gesture that truly and unquestionably crosses all boundaries of race, religion, culture, nationality, language, intelligence level etc? something that is impossible to misunderstand, misinterpret, or misjudge?

the only thing i can think of right now is a smile, and even that doesn't cross the boundary of autism.

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Saint
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Postby Saint » Fri, 20 Jan 2006 6:35 pm

Love :?

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Postby Cheekybeek » Fri, 20 Jan 2006 7:00 pm

Depends on the person. Smiles can definately have more than one meaning. I think if you sincerely want to you can understand people whose language you are unfamiliar with, just depends how well you read body language and how much you want to know what they are saying. Think of your pets or animals, you can't understand them but sometimes you seem to know exactly what each other means. Maybe animals truely speak all languages- Ok I'm guilty of making long overseas phonecalls to my cockatiel :oops: , but he talks (whistles) and understands me as much as I need him to.

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Postby Cheekybeek » Fri, 20 Jan 2006 7:21 pm

oh i know.... money, it has to be money.

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Postby Blaze » Fri, 20 Jan 2006 7:25 pm

If you are humor impaired, skip this post. I think showing the middle finger is a universally well understood gesture.

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Postby Saint » Fri, 20 Jan 2006 7:33 pm

Money is good but probably not completely universal (Those little people living in the depths of Brazillian jungles may not trade i hard cash)

Actually my first reply of "Love" i'm not not too sure on but have just thought of one which I think is about a close as you can get

DEATH!

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Cheekybeek
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Postby Cheekybeek » Fri, 20 Jan 2006 7:39 pm

yeah, that gesture of running your finger across your throat, in a slitting of the throat gesture, I think most people would get that one.

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Postby k1w1 » Fri, 20 Jan 2006 8:50 pm

Music? Maybe that's why people still like opera without understanding a word.

However, it doesn't exactly cross generations, I guess. Unless you count all-time classics... And it definately works for autistic people too - very powerful. Back home I worked with young adults who were unable to follow a sentence to the end, but would listen intently to every note of 1812 Overture. :)

Shrugging shoulders? Can anyone think of a place where that means something different?

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Postby Bubbles » Fri, 20 Jan 2006 11:52 pm

A punch is a punch anywhere in the world. Not that I'm advocating the use of violence, just saying.

Cos a kiss can be something else than a kiss, and a wink means lots of stuff, even scratching can mean many things....


thinks....

What about the beckoning sign....you know, index finger curled and uncurled....do you think that means the same everywhere?

I mean, how would we know? There maybe mountain villages in China or sea villages in New Zealand or whatever where the sign means 'Go down the shop and get a loaf of bread'.....

Bubbs.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas.

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Wind In My Hair
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sat, 21 Jan 2006 6:33 pm

thanks for the great suggestions. doesn't the slitting throat sign sometimes mean cut it out? third finger... i thought that was a western import and doubt it is universal though yes, where it is known it is unmistakeable!

cheekybeek, so nice to hear how well you get along with your cockatiel. i never had that kind of relationship with mine. found it hard to bond actually. had a much better relationship with my african grey.

saint, yes love is universal i agree. when someone loves you you just know it. it is, however, expressed very differently in different parts of the world and varies even among individuals, no?

just thought of a couple more. when you circle your finger around your head, surely it means 'crazy' the world over? and (queasy prudes please ignore the rest of this post)... when you frantically point to or clutch your crotch, it's probably universal language for 'i really need to go'!

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Postby tiki » Sat, 21 Jan 2006 9:04 pm

dreams
'If you feel alive
in a darkened room
Do you know the name
of your solitude..'

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Global Citizen
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Postby Global Citizen » Sat, 21 Jan 2006 10:09 pm

A smile to me is probably the most universally understood gesture and the best part, it usually generates one in return.
One man's meat is another's poison.

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Quasimodo
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Re: Across all boundaries

Postby Quasimodo » Sat, 21 Jan 2006 11:27 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:is there any word or gesture that truly and unquestionably crosses all boundaries of race, religion, culture, nationality, language, intelligence level etc? something that is impossible to misunderstand, misinterpret, or misjudge?

the only thing i can think of right now is a smile, and even that doesn't cross the boundary of autism.


I believe I have found it:

Image

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Postby Wham » Sun, 22 Jan 2006 12:22 am

DAMN YOU QUASI - you beat me to it! The origin of the "finger" really does cross pretty much all cultural boundaries.

But i was also thinking that a HUG seems to cross almost all cultural boundaries.
"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." Samuel Johnson

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sun, 22 Jan 2006 8:27 am

Wham wrote:i was also thinking that a HUG seems to cross almost all cultural boundaries.

awww look, wham has gone tender on us!

we need a hugging icon. meanwhile a kiss will have to do...

just for wham... :kiss:


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