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Question for Sultanofsix...

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Cajuncowboy, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    This is an honest question and not some backhand slap.

    I was talking with someone today who said that it is an insult to wave at someone from the middle east.

    :confused:

    Is this true and why is that?

    I figured since you are more versed in this culture than I you would know.
  2. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    That's a good question, Cajun. When I was in Somalia, one of the things we learned "the hard way" is that showing someone the bottom of your shoe is an insult. There were a lot of us that were quite taken aback when the Somali's we were flying over in helicopters would take off their shoes and wave them at us as if to swat us with them. It wasn't until I got back to the States that I found out they were just pissed because as we were flying over, the Marines would be sitting in the door with their feet hanging out or resting on the skids. The insult was that we were "showing them the bottom of our shoes/feet".

    I wonder how much better Operation Restore Hope could've been if we had the cultural training and information beforehand.
  3. SultanOfSix

    SultanOfSix Star Power

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    I don't know. I'm not from the Middle East. Different cultures have their own social mores.

    I don't know about the hand thing, but the feet thing is pretty common in almost all cultures pre-modern day civilization as an insult because it's seen as disrespectful when you put someone under your feet even if you're not touching them, like when putting them in another person's direction, especially if that person is an elder or a parent.
  4. Marty R

    Marty R Member

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    Waving at "them" isn't an insult as long as you use the right hand. If you wave to "them" in passing with the left hand it is considered an insult because the left hand is the hand used to do all the "Dirty" work of, shall we say, keeping oneself clean. If you wave to "them" with the left hand it infers that you considerthem "dirty."
  5. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    What happens if you flip them the bird?
  6. Marty R

    Marty R Member

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    bad things man.....



    baaaad things.
  7. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    :laugh2:

    Get hit with a shoe.
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    :laugh2: :laugh2: :bow:
  9. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    Oh damn that was Fargin HILACRITY.....


    Yes I intentionally just made up a word. What is good for BP is good for all. He makes up words left and right.

    Hit w/ a show!!...


    best post in a long time.... :lmao2:
  10. speedkilz88

    speedkilz88 Well-Known Member

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    Uh, oh. I've been using the wrong hand all this time?
  11. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    On a related topic.

    With the shoe thing...I am sure if many think back they will remember that when the US brought down that one Statue of Saddam many of the Iraqi's were out there hitting it with their shoes.
  12. REDVOLUTION

    REDVOLUTION Return to Dominance

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    I heard there is confusion on that one.


    Is it to signify that THEY are #1

    or

    that YOU are #1

    :laugh2:
  13. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    Does that apply only to Left handed Arabs?:)
  14. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    My grandmother was the master of the shoe. She knew she couldn't catch us, but she could fling a shoe with the likes of any angry Arab.

    :laugh2:
  15. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    It depends on who's bigger... since I'm not too big, it usually means you're #1. :)
  16. Marty R

    Marty R Member

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    Actually no. The left handed ones still predominately use the right hand for most greetings and such.

    Getting back to VTA and his "bird" it isn't considered a pleasant thing to do at all, but the arab version is the thumbs up.... Here it means okay and what not, but in that area it means the same thing as if we flipped someone the bird. Now if they give you a thumbs up and then act as if they are punching you while doing so is really bad... pretty much means you will never ever get a Christmas card from them....kinda like the bird with extreme prejudice, if you will.
  17. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    I bet thousands of American soldiers have unknowingly given the "thumbs up" to Iraqis.
  18. Marty R

    Marty R Member

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    They7 shouldn't be.

    On my first "visit" and every subsequent one, we have been throughly briefed by what is and isn't appropriate. Now that isn't to say that some of them haven't "westenized" themselves because as a matter of want, it's just really friggin hard not to give one of the local nationals a thumbs up on a job well done, so some, I say again some, have grown accustommed to "our" ways if you will. Now while on patrol, no one should be making the wrong gesture towards any of the locals but it happens from time to time. More often then not when one of our bravest really wants to get their attention, or to just piss them off. either way.
  19. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    Yes...it is hard to expect every troop to never give a thumbs up when it is so ingrained in our society as a positive expression.
  20. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    That's good to know. And thanks for going over there.

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