The Indian Head Wobble. ( wiggle, bob)

There is very little on the Indian subcontinent as unique and instantly recognizable as the Indian head wobble, otherwise known as the head bob, head bobble or head wiggle.

In England and many other countries there is the nod and the headshake, one meaning yes and the other no, wether it is yes or no can be interchangeable in different cultures but the actions are still the same. But what happens when you don’t really want to say yes or no?

Enter the Indian Head wobble!

The Head Wobble is seen in many different forms over the subcontinent and here is the thing, it doesn’t mean either yes or no, it can mean yes, it can mean no, it can mean I don’t know and it can also mean I don’t care. It is open to interpretation! This can cause a number of differing problems when you are in India and you need an answer!

But what are the origins of this strange head movement?

A theory I have heard is this. The Indian subcontinent has lived with a series of harsh rulers, the English and the Indian Maharajahs before them, neither of whom really liked to hear the word no as an answer. In response to this the Indians found a way of avoiding saying that dreaded word, and the head wobble was born!

It is similar in a way to “inshallah (God willing)” in arabic countries, essentially it gives you an out, you will do what you say, God willing!

Whatever it means, Slur loves the head wobble.

Lucien Grey

Thanks to prateekcyrus and Joe Hage for the youtube clips!

2 thoughts on “The Indian Head Wobble. ( wiggle, bob)

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