Why Europeans count that way

While I was teaching a group of young children how to count with their fingers, I noticed something fascinating. They’d normally hold up their thumb to show one, while I grew up seeing one as the index finger.


It was such an interesting cultural difference. And the kids noticed it too! They kept asking, “Teacher Marina! Perché fai cosi?” And I had to assure them that it was correct, both ways.

In today’s video blog, this is my take on how finger counting in Europe started :

I could be wrong though!

10 Replies to “Why Europeans count that way”

  1. Marina, I count with my fingers the way you do too. Emanuele and me found out the difference sometime ago and we were surprised at the different way to count 😉
    Selamat berpuasa!!

    1. I didn’t really noticed this before teaching the young children. Mainly because they kept asking, “Cosi? Cosi? Cosi? Cosi?” Non stop. So of course, it was hard not to notice! Hahaha!

      Thank you for the Ramadan wishes. Cart and I appreciate it 🙂

  2. I learnt about this while in college. Many cultural differences indeed and many of them stem from difference in countries, not race.

    In any case… I’m not European but I count starting with the thumb, too. ^^

Comments are closed.