Asked by: Rob Banino, Bristol
In many cultures, including ours, pointing at other people is considered rude because it’s associated with blame allocation (‘to point the finger at…’). Also, by pointing at someone, you automatically, and without their consent, make them an object of scrutiny. However, this taboo does not appear to be culturally universal. For instance, the anthropologist Olivier Le Guen notes that among the indigenous Yucatec Mayas in southern Mexico, it’s not considered rude to point at others.