One of the most notable means of communication that we have been exposed to is the head bobble©™, a sign of successful integration to the Indian culture according to me. This is a very interesting gesture to be analyzed for the field of communication. It is very interesting at the many levels, including the anthropological level. The head bobble is an unavoidable “tool” of nonverbal communication to consider for achieving a successful communication in the Indian environment, in particular in the South regions. By successful communication, I mean delivering your verbal message successfully but most importantly a successful communication should make your interlocutor feel that you are a part of his/her group, which will increase the legitimacy and the weight of your discourse. A correct verbal communication that includes the head bobble is the upmost form of communication in Southern India, in my opinion.
Now, let take a closer look at the signification of the head bobble©™. The latter has a connotation of positivity, agreement, approval, conciliation, support and encouragement. An ethnocentric interpretation can be misleading, if taken from a western standpoint; the head bobble is far from expressing the hesitation or the polite “no” that we find in the Western world. Instead; the head bobble©™ carries a different meaning that regroups words and significations such as “I understand”, “ok”, “good”, “nice”, “beautiful”. A lot of people would be head bobbling when talking to us, in particular when they wanted to express hospitality, acknowledgement for our action during the visits at the units.
After several days of immersion, it was surprising to notice how some people had unconsciously -I believe- integrated the head bobble in their body language when talking to our fellow Indians friends in Auroville and its surroundings.
If you are interested in achieving The expert level (A+ with highest honors) in head bobbling, I highly recommend you to follow the instructions found in the guide How to Tilt Your Head Like an Indian, which will unveil all the secrets you need to know about this millenary tradition in Massive India …