Colours themselves do not “mean” anything, yet the society had led us to believe they do. A lot of colours have meanings connoted with them, such as red means “stop” or “danger” with the most common example being on a set of traffic light.
But the connotations of the colors, what we associate watching at it, can also change from culture to culture.
One of the main example is the color white. People who lives in Western countries associate this colour to brides and weddings but also to angels and peace (white doves). In general means purity and cleanliness.
The feelings that habitants of Eastern counties prove when they see the color white are opposite, they think about death (funerals) and sadness.
If we go in India, Japan or China we will probably see people wearing white dresses at funerals, but usually for Catholic and Buddhism countries the main feeling that the white colour transmit is purity, elegance and innocence.
There is an animal that i think could arouse different connotations, I’m talking about the black cat. Black cats can be seen like bearers of good of evil. Personally if a black cat will cross my path I’ll think that something not so good is going to happen, in Italy people are quite superstitious and we see a cat crossing the road as a sign of bad luck.
Most of Americans will think the same, but if we are in Britain or Japan it could be associated as a sign of good luck.
In Russia there is a belief that if a black cat crosses a person’s path, that person should choose another direction to avoid the cat’s path, or crossing it holding a button (from their shirt or jacket).
In Germany is known as a vehicle of Hell and some german (also some italian) believed that a black cat jumped on a bed of a sick person, their death will be imminent.
The opposite happen in Egypt: they usually idolize cats and treated like royalty. A cemetery was found that contained thousand of mummies of black cats. To kill a cat was punished by death.
We can found the most tragic association of the black cat in Normandy where it was believed (maybe also today) that if a black cat crossed your path in moonlight you’ll probably die in an epidemic.
We use hands thousand times very day and there are some gesture from which we can interpret a meaning.
For example the “OK” sign means totally different things depending on the country where we are. If you’re an English-speaking Caucasian and under the sea scuba diving around the world, it means “ok”, “good” or “spot on”. In fact, it was believed that this Ok sign has been popularized by divers.
If you are a French you’ll probably interpreted as “zero” or “worthless” and if you’re Japanese you’ll read it as “money”.
Don’t show this to a Northern Greek. About 2000 years ago, ancient Greek vases have been found showing this gesture as a gesture of sexual insult. It’s still thought the same today. So, if you use this sign there to tell a person that he is “ok”, he will feel insulted. He may be retaliate. Alternatively, he may invite you home for an intimate dinner for two.