Cultural gestures

As ever, the BBC News website realises that it is not just it’s job to tell the news but to make sure people understand what is going on.

Recent pictures from Iraq have shown the men taking to the streets, beating their chests, holding up clay discs and hitting pictures of Saddam with their shoes. All of these have significant meaning and are typically alien to non-Muslim Westerners like myself. Decoding Iraq’s symbols of celebration is a useful guide to these actions.