All The Rage

The Image staff muses on the culture of
keeping up appearances

« Previous Post | All The Rage Home | Next Post »

Sarah Palin's wink will offend in India and China

October 5, 2008 |  3:51 pm

83095124Ah, what a difference a wink makes. Sarah Palin -- as coquettish as a83128683_4 16-year-old cheerleader -- winked twice during last week's vice presidential debate. The GOP gobbled it up, with grunts of "atta gal!" The Democrats, not in the mood to be wooed, saw her flirtation with the nation as another ploy to avoid talking turkey.

But it might interest the Alaska governor to know that winking is considered to be rude in many Asian countries, including India.

According to one business guide for executives visiting India, "Winking will usually be perceived as either an insult or a sexual proposition whereas whistling under any
circumstances is considered rude and unacceptable."

Another primer for expats on nonverbal communication overseas notes that the Chinese consider winking to be rude too.  In Nigeria, winking is a sign that children should leave the room.

Wondering if you can screw up foreign relations in the wink of an eye? You betcha.
-- Monica Corcoran

Photos: Getty Images