library story time kids enthusiastically recite the fingerplays we do every week. In English! Most of them don't speak English yet, but all of them sing along with fairly sophisticated vocabulary--"creep them, crawl them"--and do all the hand motions.
But on one of our counting rhymes, although they would sing with me, none of them ever did the hand motions. This puzzled me, since they are so good at the actions on all the other songs, until our Bosnian tutor mentioned to us that she finds the way Americans count on their fingers odd.
She showed us the way Bosnians count their fingers--palm facing the sky, starting with "one" at the thumb instead of the index finger.
So at the next storytime when we did our counting rhyme, I held my hand palm up and counted starting with my thumb. All the kids did it along with me!