Indian’s Don’t Nod

India, Thoughts & Reflections Add comments

Let me explain this little cultural difference that took a few days to catch on to. Indian’s don’t nod. They shake their head to say yes. Try that out for a day. It’s a lot more awkward than it sounds.

Ok, it’s not a full on no-shake; they throw a little cock in the head. It’s kind of like a shrug of the shoulder mixed with a no-shake, but the shoulder doesn’t rise up. If they going for a full on yes-nod, as opposed to just your typical OK sure-nod, then they really get the head moving. You know those little animals or sports figures that cool people put in the back window of their car, with the head that that wobbles around when they hit the brakes. I think maybe they call them weebles? Well, it’s like that. Just like that.

At first I kept thinking everyone was saying “maybe, I guess”, “no not really”, or “I don’t know”. I thought maybe my charades technique was fading. I’d ask people a question and they’d wobble their head, so I’d ask them again. I’d rephrase and they’d wobble. Rephrase. Wobble. Rephrase. Wobble.

Now that I’ve got the wobble down, communicating has gotten a little easier.

5 Thoughts on “Indian’s Don’t Nod”

  1. Swan Says:

    Actually … the’re called bobble heads (

  2. Mom Says:

    They’re called “Bobble Heads”!

  3. Kristin Says:

    they are called bobble heads…..

  4. Aunt Zeth Says:

    They are called Bobble Head dolls.

  5. -eric- Says:

    They are called Bobble Head dolls, in case no one had told you yet…..(yes, I’m a jerk)

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