Head bobble

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The head bobble, or Indian head shake refers to a common gesture found in South Asian cultures, most notably in India. The motion usually consists of a side-to-side tilting of the head in arcs along the coronal plane.[1] A form of nonverbal communication, it may mean "Yes", "Good", "maybe", "OK" or "I understand", depending on the context.[2][3]

In India the gesture is common everywhere. However, it is more common in South India.[4][5]

In India, this particular head shake can also be acknowledgment or encouragement. In the Western world, people often use a nod for the same purpose. It is used to convey a variety of gestures, although 'affirmative' and 'negative' are the most common ones.[citation needed] The meaning of the Indian head bobble depends on the context of the conversation or encounter.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kavita Pillay (30 January 2006), How to Tilt Your Head Like an Indian, World Hum
  2. ^ Seth Stevenson (27 September 2004), "Actually Liking Stuff", Trying Really Hard To Like India, Slate
  3. ^ Sharell Cook, What is the Meaning of the Indian Head Wobble?, About.com
  4. ^ Craig Storti (2007), "The Indian "Yes" Head Gesture", Speaking of India: Bridging the communication gap when working with Indians, Intercultural Press
  5. ^ Chad Lewis (2008), Successful Communication in Multicultural Environments (PDF), Intercultural Focus

External links[edit]