Spanish Finger counting

“When Spanish speakers count on their hand they begin with the thumb then index, middle, ring, and little.”

My aunt often jokes about the way Spanish speakers count.  As opposed to the way my aunt, raised in Michigan, counts by starting with her index, then middle, ring, little, and finally thumb to complete the five.

It is interesting that counting works differently around the world and even associated with languages themselves.

My aunt nor I have a good answer for why the Spanish count this way, but it must be passed down through the generations or taught unconsciously in school by Spanish raised teachers.  It is intriguing that not only the words for the numbers are different but also the movement of counting differs.