Multi culturalpedia
A Dictionary for Learning Different Cultures the Fun Way

Be silent around the world

Translated by Ritsuko Murakami-san

When you want to convey the meaning of " be quiet " or " be silent ", the Japanese put their index fingers on the closed lips ( in addition, they sometimes say " shh! " ). Is this only in Japan, or are there the same kind of gestures or sounds which mean " be quiet " in other cultural spheres in the world?

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Thailand 1

I saw a Thai film. A girl put her index finger in front of her face and brought it to her lips in a scene suggesting people should not make a noise or speak. I was surprised to see it and thought, " Oh, that is the same " shh " as we do in Japan! "

Do people other than Japanese and Thai use the gesture or the sound " shh " which means " be quiet " or " be silent "?

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UK 1

A British man told me.

In addition, in the UK, teachers sometimes pretend they are zipping up their mouths (they move their thumb and index finger from one side of their mouth to the other) to tell the children in the class that they should be quiet.

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the U.S.P

In regards to the "Be silent around the world". In the U.S. we do the same thing as the Japanese. We put our index finger in front of closed lips and say "shh". Hope this helps.

Joshua-san, Santa Anna, CA USA - Friday, June 22, 2001(JST)
@ Dear Joshua-san, Thank you for visiting Multiculturalpedia. "In regards to the "Be silent around the world". In the U.S. we do the same thing as the Japanese. We put our index finger in front of closed lips and say "shh"." Thank you for giving your time to help us. We will add your precious info to "Be silent around the world".
Multi culturalpedia always welcomes your information and opinions..