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Nodding and Shaking and India

 
 
Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 09:48 pm
Deb tells me that in India nodding and shaking your head have the opposite meanings (from our meanings).

I considered this a universal gesture. Is this true or is deb pulling my leg?
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 09:55 pm
IT'S TRUE!

It drives me bonkers. I've met many Indian people, especially women, it seems... no, scratch that, men too... who do a little figure-eightish/ infinity thing with their heads, with the prevailing movement side-to-side, signaling respectful listening. Really looks like "yes but" to me, but I've been repeatedly assured that it's not.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 09:56 pm
Ok, I give. But don't tell Deb.
0 Replies
 
Algis Kemezys
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Nov, 2002 09:48 pm
Yes this is all absolutely true. I love to use it myself when I go into Indian shops. While photographing the Holy Cows in India I noticed that the cow makes this same head movement when it is unsure of a person or situation.
0 Replies
 
Algis Kemezys
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Nov, 2002 10:05 pm
Holy Cow !
Holy Cow @ http://eportfolio.studio.adobe.com/user/algreco/13055
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Nov, 2002 10:32 pm
Hah! I SO have seen this!
0 Replies
 
JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Nov, 2002 07:57 pm
I have never noticed this.
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the prince
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 10:35 am
Errr...umm...care to hear from a true blood Indian ?

Nodding (moving up and down) is a YES
Shaking (moving side to side) is either a no, or I am not so sure, or I dont believe that you are saying this, or I think u r a moron.....
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 01:10 pm
Gautam you are my hero! Deb and her contrary facts have been vanquished! Yay!!!!

Ok, now I'm gonna post a topic that started this whole thing.

edit: fixed my poor grammar.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 03:27 pm
Wait wait the little infinity thing, too? (Not side to side per se, but kind of side, up, side, down, etc.)

I accept the possibility that every Indian person I've ever talked to considers me a moron, but I really thought that was an "a-ha, I see" sort of motion.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Nov, 2002 01:41 pm
Algis, I was in India last December, and saw nothing like your photo. I did see cows roaming around in many towns, and some were even decorated with flowers. c.i.
0 Replies
 
Algis Kemezys
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 06:34 am
My Dear Gautam,

It is to great alarm that you understand your own country? I have visited India over 8 times and regarded a national hero by just about every newspaper in the country for HOLY COW. I have been accepted by the highest of Guru's at the Hardwar Kumbh Mela to be the poet photographer of portraits for the Sadhu's. You are incorrect and or maybe I just didn't write it all out properly .I am quite hurt and embarrassed by the following dialogue that pursued.

Shame on you.... your now nothing more than a horrible namecaller.
if I am the son of any country I am a true son of india through Osmosis.

Arvindar Puri
aka
Algis Kemezys
0 Replies
 
Algis Kemezys
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 06:40 am
I will stand by my own understanding of India. A yes in India is not a simple nod of the head , like in north America. Yes, in India ,is a rotating of the head in a funny manner that looks like both yes and no. It means yes. There is nothing odd or wrong with this. It is a mannerism from devine beginnings.
0 Replies
 
Algis Kemezys
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 06:43 am
I am trembling at what has just occured above in these communications. Maybe I am imagining it, Maybe I don't have the grammer to express myself,but creativity and passion for the possibilites might not reside here...
Am I reading to much ...into all of the above???
0 Replies
 
the prince
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 07:17 am
Huh ?? Shocked
0 Replies
 
sakhi
 
  3  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:05 pm
@Craven de Kere,

What prince wrote is correct....

1) Nodding (moving up and down) is a YES
2) Shaking (moving side to side) is either a no, or I am not so sure, or I dont believe that you are saying this, or I think u r a moron.....

Apart from these two, there is another side-to-side movement. I dont know how to explain the movement in words - You do not turn your face/head to the side like you would in 2). Instead, you bend/bob your head on each side of the shoulder (usually at a 45 degree angle). This third head-bobbing movement means "Okay".

So, if you were to ask me "Are you an Indian". I would use 1) to denote yes. I would not use 3)
If you ask me "Do you eat meat?". I would use 2) to say no (because I don;t).

If you asked me "I'm going shopping. Will you come along with me?". I would use 3) to indicate "okay, i'll come along"....

mismi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:15 pm
@sakhi,
Now - in Albania - nodding your head means no... it is quite confusing.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:22 pm
@mismi,
Ha! There goes Craven's theory, then.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 08:00 am
@sakhi,
A-ha! That third movement seems to be the figure-eight thing I mentioned. "OK" fits with the context in which I saw it.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Feb, 2009 11:00 am
sakhi, nice to see you!
 

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