A foam hand, also known as a foam finger, is a sports audience item worn on the hand to show support for a particular team. The most common version resembles an oversized hand with an extended index finger. Usually the hand displays a team name, logo, or slogan, such as "We Are #1", but can also be found as gift cards or even as Christmas decoration.
The foam finger was originally created by Steve Chmelar in 1971, who constructed a giant hand out of hardware cloth and papier-mâché for the 1971 Iowa High School Athletic Association Boy's State Basketball Finals.
The hand sign gesture is used by all ages, on all continents, within sports, on the streets, deliberately and unconsciously, by girls and boys, women and men. The sign is portrayed in ancient history and art, in love cards and as Emojis on mobile phones and social medias. It is being used in choreographed dances by artists to enhance the lyrics in their songs. It is used by winning teams, by parents teaching their children not to steal cookies, by politicians to emphasize their rhetorical arguments and by religious groups pointing at powers from above. Anywhere and practically all the time.
During the hippie era in the 1960s a Christian revolutionary movement arose in California – the Jesus Movement. It was based on the love for Jesus and its followers aimed to live a Christian life according to the Bible. By 1972, the Jesus Movement had reached its peak.
Nearly 100,000 people attended an evangelistic training and rally and the Jesus Music Festival drew 180,000 people.
Finger signs are being counting is used all over the world. The sign for “one” is commonly performed with the index finger, but in some cultures other fingers or combination of fingers are being used. Examples below in Chinese and Arabic:
The sign is nowadays available as a mean for expression via "emojis" for billions of users worldwide using iPhone and Android smartphones, tablets and other devices. It is an option for the billions of people using social medias such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Whatsapp and many others. In 2016 the original version it was completed in a range of skin colors.
Pointing with the index finger at someone in particular can be offensive in many cultures. It is considered a rude thing to do in China, Japan, Indonesia, Latin America, and many other countries. In Europe, it’s thought of as impolite, and in many African countries the index finger is used only for pointing at inanimate objects, never at people.
The sign has been and is being used for pointing up towards higher powers by all the mayor religions. There are also descriptions of religious representattives using one hand pointing up and the other pointing down, symbolizing the connection between heaven and Earth.
It is said, upon the birth of the Buddha, he stood up, pointed one finger to the sky, pointed the finger of the other hand to the earth, to announce he had arrived.
The pointing sign has been a recognized gesture by Muslims and signified the belief in the oneness of God. It is traditionally used during prayer or sermons, here in an instruction video for the prayer "Tashahud".
The index finger is said to be the finger of "personal power and leadership success". We naturally use the index finger to express our personal power. When we are really mad at someone we may even put that finger right in their face or poke on them. It is said that when this personal power is habitually strong and direct the index finger actually grows longer, stronger, and straighter.
The pointed finger is a symbol used in alchemy, and many classic paintings. It represents a person's relationship with the spiritual world - in a sense where they are on the spiritual path. Below the painting St. John the Baptist is a High Renaissance oil painting on walnut wood by Leonardo da Vinci. Probably completed from 1513 to 1516, it is believed to be his final painting and is now exhibited at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France.
A PORTRAYED MONK IN CHINA
The laughing Buddha Hotei is pointing to the moon. He was a monk who lived during the Later Liang Dynasty (907–923 AD) of China. His defining attributes were happiness and contentment and he is portraited with a cheerful face and a big belly.
The raised finger is often portrayed by media when celebrities perform and speak, while conveying their messages. Sometimes unintentionally, but often used deliberately to strengthen a rhetorical argument or issue. Even a celebrity like Mickey Mouse has been portrayed doing the same sign...