What is the Chinese Middle Finger?

November 14, 2023
David Sunnyside

Whether the middle finger is rude or not depends on context. It can also have other meanings depending on what finger gesture you are using. For example, holding up the thumb and index finger together (like giving the middle finger in the West) is a way to express contempt or disdain. However, this gesture is not used in Chinese culture to show anger or hostility. In fact, it is more commonly seen as a greeting or a playful gesture. In addition, the middle finger is associated with the Fire element and used for sorcery.

In Buddhism, the middle finger is raised in Karana Mudra and Dharmachakra to ward off evil and obstacles. Similarly, in Taoism, the middle finger is raised in Nine Hand Seal and Kuji-in meditation techniques to increase energy and awareness. This finger is also used by members of China’s Hindu minority to chase away bad spirits and negative energy projections through meditation.

Despite the different interpretations, the middle finger is not considered rude in any culture, as it has many positive associations and healing functions. Nevertheless, it is best to avoid showing any fingers in an angry or hostile manner, as this can be misinterpreted.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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