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. A form of nonverbal communication, it may mean "Yes", "Good", "maybe", "OK" or "I understand", depending on the context.
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. The meaning of the Indian head bobble depends on the context of the conversation or encounter.
- Kavita Pillay (30 January 2006), How to Tilt Your Head Like an Indian, World Hum
- Seth Stevenson (27 September 2004), "Actually Liking Stuff", Trying Really Hard To Like India, Slate
- Sharell Cook, What is the Meaning of the Indian Head Wobble?, About.com
- Craig Storti (2007), "The Indian "Yes" Head Gesture", Speaking of India: Bridging the communication gap when working with Indians, Intercultural Press
- Chad Lewis (2008), Successful Communication in Multicultural Environments (PDF), Intercultural Focus
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