Contact us: Info inXel. In India, people have a variety of head movements which are meant to convey certain meanings, intentions, or feelings. Some are more ambiguous than others so be cautious in your conclusions! The quicker and more decisive the movement, the more positive the meaning. How's it going? One quick nod down means, "Come here. Wobble: Tipping the head like the vertical side to side, but with more of a sway in it, a looser chin movement, means "maybe yes, maybe no. Even when you have identified it, you still don't know for sure what it means.
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The Indian head wobble to say ‘yes’ or ‘thank you’
Culture Trip stands with Black Lives Matter. The Indian head wobble is a non-verbal, short and quick mode of communication and depending on how the head and chin is moved, it could have several meanings. When an local slightly dips his head and ducks his chin quickly about three or four times, it means he agrees with you. You will observe that the same head shaking gesture is used by someone to show their gratitude. At such times the head nod is accompanied with a smile. So, next time you tip your driver or the guy who helped you park, you will see this head nod with a grateful smile. When the head is tilted slighty from left to right in quick motion, this also means yes.
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The peculiar Indian head shake, wobble, or bobble is the source of much confusion and wonderment among foreigners, especially the first time one is confronted with it. It looks like a cross between a nod and shake, but does it mean "yes"? Or, does it mean "no"? Or, even "maybe"? The confusion is increased when the gesture is silent. However, once you discover the meaning of the head wobble and its many uses, what's really surprising is how infectious this gesture becomes. Anyone who's spent a considerable amount of time in India is likely to have caught themselves unconsciously wobbling their head. Even Indians who don't normally wobble their heads very much will automatically do so in response to another head wobble. A lot of the time, they don't even realize they're doing it! So, what's the mysterious head wobble all about?
This question is often asked in Indian intercultural training programmes. Well, there is a reason that, according to The Business Culture Complexity Index, India is one of the most challenging cultures to operate in for foreigners. It's things like this that can confuse people and leave them scratching their heads instead of nodding them. In this blog we'll try and unpick the meaning as well as the intention behind the head nod. It involves a side to side or diagonal tilting of the head which can be used to communicate a diverse range of thoughts, feelings and intentions. They are also so ingrained in Indian culture, with such subtle nuances, that accurate descriptions of each head wobble are not feasible. Wobbles just…..