When it comes to non-verbal communication, Indians display one of the most confusing gestures – ‘the head bobble’…a cross between a nod and a shake, implying a cross between yes and no! It is an intentionally ambiguous gesture and in isolation does not convey any meaning but leaves the communication open for interpretation. It can be easily spotted on the Indian streets or their homes and schools and offices and shops etc.
Some suggest that the gesture might be the consequence of the Indian authoritarian culture (link to the authoritarianism byte) or the gesture might be a play for dominance. The receiver here seems to have the power to make what he wants of ‘the bobble’ while the sender sends out a message of confusion and doubt. Or it could simply imply being polite.
So the next time you bobble (or see someone bobble), be sure to add verbal support!