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Bush’s V-Sign Has Different Meaning For Australians With PM-Bush, Bjt

January 3, 1992 GMT

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) _ President Bush gave the V-for-victory sign as he drove in his armored limousine past some demonstrators here in Australia’s capital.

A friendly gesture?

Not down under. In Australia, holding up two fingers to form a ″V″ has the same meaning as a middle-finger salute in the United States.

It’s not clear if Bush had been apprised of the local customs before his passing encounter on Thursday.

That same day, at the opening of an Australian Center for American Studies, Bush noted that while the two cultures share much in common, ″differences do exist. And we can and should do much more to foster greater understanding.″

On Wednesday he boasted about the warmth of the reception crowds in Sydney gave him. ″I’m a man that knows every hand gesture you’ve ever seen - and I haven’t learned a new one since I’ve been here,″ he said.