Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Glimpse of China: Hand signs for numbers

If you wanted to convey to someone a number without speaking you would use your hands. How would you convey, with your hands, the number 10? Here's how we would do it:

And here is one way of how it's done in China:

Want to see how 1 through 10 are conveyed with hand signals in China? It is demonstrated in short video (created by 'My New Chinese Love') below:

One of the great things about learning of different cultures is realizing where your assumptions are - I had never thought of number hand signs in a cultural context, but if I had taken a moment to think about it, I would have assumed everyone did it "our" way. But of course, there is always more than one way to do anything.


  1. I'm with you: aside from the European way of indicating 3, I would have kind of assumed all the other numbers were the same everywhere. So interesting!

  2. I googled the european way of indicating 3 :)

  3. My Chinese husband does these. I had no idea what they meant and he was so surprised that we don't do it that way!


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