How People Count Money Around the World

Yesterday, Amber Case tweeted about this awesome ethnography video that shows the shocking diversity in (and apparent consistency with) how people count money:


  1. I so rarely have big stacks of bills that I had to think about how I’d do it, but it’s not quite on pattern — I use the Canadian method, but my right thumb does the moving rather than the left.

    Back when more people smoked (not including me), I recall noticing when people tried to hold cigarettes in a different way than they’d grown up watching. Europeans who tended to pinch cigarettes between thumb and index finger (as North Americans tend to do with marijuana joints) always looked awkward trying to smoke cigarettes American-style, with the butt sandwiched (always too tightly) between the index and middle fingers. And vice versa.

    It’s probably the same reason we Canadians can never look suave driving a Vespa.

  2. I’d seen the video before, but still find it fascinating. I should have paid more attention when I was in South America (which doesn’t seem to be covered) recently. I seem to recall the moneychangers in Lima counting bills in the Afghanistan/Iran/India manner — holding them lengthwise. They spent an inordinate amount of time counting bills when they weren’t actually exchanging any money. Paranoia or just practice?

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