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Mind that middle finger!

entertainment Updated: Jan 07, 2012 01:00 IST
Rachit Gupta
Rachit Gupta
Hindustan Times
middle finger

Indian-cricketer-Virat-Kohli

Hold your head up high and your middle finger even higher. Young Delhiites seem to have taken the saying to heart, given how commonly they use the gesture, but not many have a clear idea what it really means.

As cricketer Virat Kohli faces action for showing his middle finger to the Aussie crowd on day two of the India-Australia test match, we asked Delhiites what showing the middle finger implies. Here are some of their answers:

“It’s a derogatory act and celebs should refrain from doing such things in public, as it sets a very bad example,” says Meenal Sharma, 22. “The gesture has been there for sometime, and is a sign of arrogance and hatred. I think it’s inherited from the West,” says Gagandeep, 24, a banking official.

“It is an action of arrogance and pride. People show it in anger and irritation,” said Sachin, 19, from Zakir Hussain College. While 20-year-old Ayush says he isn’t sure what is meant by the gesture, Deepak Bharadwaj, 22, an accountant says, “I don’t know about it, but from the facial expression, I can make out out that it’s a bad expression!”

The gesture decoded
In Western culture, showing the middle finger or flipping someone off, is considered an obscene hand gesture meant to mimic the sexual act. In ancient Greek comedy, it was used as an insult to imply a male or a female who submits to anal penetration.

In the news...
In March 2011, singer Justin Bieber flipped photographers while on a date with Selena Gomez. He was later asked to apologise.

In 2005, Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo was fined 4,000 pounds for showing the finger to fans in Lisbon.

It is not a common expression, but is rude and awkward, and is also used in a funny way at times.
Senjam,21

It’s pretty rude, but 10 years from now, every young teenager will be using it all the time!
Gunjan, 20

I learnt the act of showing a middle finger from WWE. If any one shows it to me, I’ll definitely fight!
Saqib, 20

It’s not cool at all. But, when I want to vent my anger, this is an easier way to shut someone up.
Vasundhara, 22

Originated in Greece and promoted by Australians, it’s a sign of cowardice and aggression.
Joydeep, 24