the indian head wobble

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  • the indian head wobble
  • Premier Icon singlespeedstu
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    I think it means they don’t like you or think you’re steriotyping them. πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon Pook
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    I’m not stereotyping them. My indian colleagues do that head wobble. One of my british colleagues constantly rubs his fingers before he types. Fact based observation. Those people do that.

    Had i said “why do indians do that head wobble?” as opposed to asking a specific question about my colleagues, then yes, i would have been stereotyping. But I didn’t, so I’m not.

    We were given a session at work to help understand cultural differences and help us work better with our Indian colleagues. I’m led to believe it is basically confirmation they are listening. “Yes” also rarely means yes. It just means they’ve heard what you said and will go away and think about it some more.

    lucien
    Member

    In as many words, my take on it is that it’s a bit of a “f~~k you” type gesture – mainly unconscious, no different to other generic gestures in other countries / races, before anyone plays the racism card….

    I’m not stereotyping them. My indian colleagues do that head wobble. One of my british colleagues constantly rubs his fingers before he types. Fact based observation. Those people do that.

    Yeah, but you call it the Indian Head Wobble. So unless you have seen more than just your colleagues, and many many more Indians and no non-Indians do it, then yes it is stereotyping

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
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    Maybe it means you don’t understand this winkysmiley thing. πŸ˜‰

    All the indians I know just act the same as me.
    Hardly suprising really as we all gew up in the same area and went to the same school.

    Premier Icon kayak23
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    Folks are just dying for things to be offensive…
    πŸ™„

    [video]http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=eJ0SuD_ulVk&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DeJ0SuD_ulVk[/video]

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    CharlieMungus wrote:

    Yeah, but you call it the Indian Head Wobble. So unless you have seen more than just your colleagues, and many many more Indians and no non-Indians do it, then yes it is stereotyping

    I’ve seen lots of Indians make that movement when talking so it’s not just the OP.

    Premier Icon Pook
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    I’ve seen lots of indians do it, i don’t remember seeing any non-indians do it.

    I can’t quantify how many of either of the above indian or non-indians I have seen doing or not doing it to ensure I don’t cross the stereotyping threshold so i will plead inconclusive evidence and go forth with a notepad to record any further observations.

    πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    Please report your results with statistics to back it up.

    A graph or two might be nice and help demonstrate you findings. πŸ™‚

    I can’t quantify how many of either of the above indian or non-indians I have seen doing or not doing it to ensure I don’t cross the stereotyping threshold so i will plead inconclusive evidence and go forth with a notepad to record any further observations.

    Inconclusive is fine, so we don’t know if it is an Indian Head wobble or just a head wobble.

    captcaveman
    Member

    It does mean yes, and it is confusing for us Europeans who are not brought up with it. They can do it very subtly while you talk (as if someone were nodding in recognition) or more fully as a full answer to a question

    I have spent over 6 months in India so I know
    We got very confused when asking a waiter a question, he just kept doing his little sideways nod and we kept asking the question
    If you don’t know it, you tend to take it more like a shoulder shrug than a full nod, so it can look like “I dont know ” or “I dont care” but it isn’t, it is a proper yes

    You may also hear “acha” which is a common way of saying yes or ok or aha

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    So according to the video it’s all fault of the British Empire (and pre-Empire days)?

    Well someone tell’em that the colonial days are over and that they can stand easy now, ie just say no, no need to bobble.

    I have spent over 6 months in India so I know
    We got very confused when asking a waiter a question, he just kept doing his little sideways nod and we kept asking the question

    Which part of India were you in? I often work i Lucknow and Shimla. I don’t see it.

    captcaveman
    Member

    Mainly in the South, which explains the difference! Didn’t realise though

    Premier Icon Pook
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    what does it mean?

    In the western world, yes can be signified with a nod and no with a shake. Often, when talking to my indian colleagues they’ll slightly ‘wobble’ their heads as they chat, generally in time with the syllables of their words – it’s very endearing, but where does it come from and what does it mean/signify?

    Sancho
    Member

    It’s a trait that i associate with Indians, and I’ve had a great laugh at work trying to copy it and to copy some of the Indian hand gestures too.
    got the hang of it now though.

    Premier Icon Pook
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    So, have I been exonerated Mr Mungus?

    Premier Icon jamj1974
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    Caveman has it most nearly correct to my knowledge. The ‘head wobble’ is an acknowledgement of what you are saying. I’m not sure if it is unique to the Indian sub-continent inhabitants, but that is where I have seen it. Like the word “Accha” it is subtle and can signify different things like: –
    – yes
    – ok
    – really?
    – I understand

    However it wouldn’t appear to be be universal amongst all individuals from the sub-continent. My fathers family who originated from India but had been in Mauritius for some time, didn’t do it at all.

    I have also worked with hundreds of people from companies such as Wipro and TCS. Apparently some of these organisations put staff through programmes to educate them in the culture of the people they will be working with. That could explain why the ‘wobble’ is not universal in people’s working experiences.

    Observation of culture specific behaviours is not in itself racist or prejudiced as some above seem to be suggesting. Observation is the basis of science! How you use the observation could be seen in a racist or prejudiced way – but the OP didn’t do that – he simply asked an open and honest question.

    Premier Icon nickc
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    my granny did it, and she’s from Pakistan, so it’s not just Indians that do it. (Although Pakistan was India when she was born, so who knows!)

    eskay
    Member

    There are some odd responses to what is a valid question.

    We have a branch in Chennai and when I first went over there I was quite confused by the head wobble and I had to look it up on the internet.

    Quite fascinating when you read about the different meanings. There is nothing wrong with questioning things that you do not understand.

    Premier Icon Pook
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    funnily enough, I’ve seen it in colleagues from wipro.

    So, have I been exonerated Mr Mungus?

    far from it! It has been shown to be not specific to India as well as not universal in India. So to call it the’indian’ head wobble is an overgeneralisation and still stereotyping.

    Premier Icon parkesie
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    What would you rather he called it in instead maybe a ethnic head wobble or brown person head wobble. Op had a perfectly valid question and wanted to understand a cultural difference. I’ve learnt something that I never knew and had often wondered about. Maybe you should go and be offended for someone else now?

    Premier Icon Pook
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    far from it?! I beg to differ.

    It has been suggested that this is predominantly an Indian sub-continental trait, or where it is not specifically Indian, that there is a direct historical link its origins in India. The above videos and a number of links feature Indians themselves describing the Indian Head Wobble/bobble.

    I think you’re trying very hard to be offended, or to appear amazingly politically correct, God forbid someone ever gives you a Chinese burn.

    From the scant evidence shown above, the head wobble of which we speak is widely known as the Indian Head Wobble inside and beyond India.

    scruff
    Member

    What about Red Indians, do they do it aswell?

    konabunny
    Member

    God forbid someone ever gives you a Chinese burn.

    Tbf I’ve never actually seen a Chinese person give a Chinese burn. Or whisper. Or torture anyone with water.

    Trimix
    Member

    Oh FFS, get over it and stop moaning about Stereotyping.

    If you cant handle the OP calling it Indian, get out on your bike while the sun shines, it may loosen you up a bit πŸ™‚

    Ive a team in India who all do it differently, I asked them and they said different parts of India do it differently and it carrys different meanings dependin where you are from.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
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    ^ + 1

    (while respecting the right of those who feel compelled to take offence on behalf of others πŸ˜‰ )

    Next question, what does the Japanese habit of taking a sharp in breath and saying “Ano…..” mean, or what does the Japanese word “Hai” actually mean. (rhetorical questions BTW)

    b r
    Member

    It’s a trait that i associate with Indians,

    This.

    Me too, worked with loads of Indians across the world and in India. tbh I just ignore it now, as I reckon it doesn’t actually mean anything.

    A bit like the Japanese ‘yes’.

    cranberry
    Member

    far from it! It has been shown to be not specific to India as well as not universal in India. So to call it the’indian’ head wobble is an overgeneralisation and still stereotyping.

    Oh my Gods* – that Indian bloke in the video says that Indian people do the Indian head wobble as well, just like the reactionary Comrade Pook – can’t believe that he can be so racist! 😯

    * Other belief systems are available, and one should not discriminate against them

    Premier Icon jamj1974
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    CharlieMungus – Member
    So, have I been exonerated Mr Mungus?
    far from it! It has been shown to be not specific to India as well as not universal in India. So to call it the’indian’ head wobble is an overgeneralisation and still stereotyping.

    Give over Charlie Mungus. You are making yourself look a bit silly.

    Pook. I doubt you will be able to change Charlie’s impression. Wouldn’t waste your time trying any further…

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Was the original point/question stereotyping? Yes.
    Was it racist/xenophobic/bigoted? Not at all.
    Was it on the pretty harmless end of the handwringometer? Of course.
    Is anyone pointing out the stereotyping guilty of the lazy accusation of being “offended on behalf of others”? I very much doubt it.

    Sancho
    Member

    it’s a bit like the English “sorry”

    we say it all the time but don’t mean it.

    Sancho
    Member

    and it makes my non english colleagues laugh as we say it all the time.

    Pook, you can differ whether you beg or not. You asked me a question then grump about the answer. If you don’t actually want to know what I think and aren’t prepared to engage with it, then why ask me a question?

    I’ve not said ia am offended, I’ve not accused anyone of racism. I’ve merely ipointed out that the term plays to stereotypes, and it does, as demonstrated by the comments on here. Some Indians do a head wobble, some other folks do too.

    Don’t try so hard to be offended just because someone talks about stereotyping.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
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    Stereotyping is not necessarily a bad thing anyway. As long as it is correctly applied. (although I don’t even thing that the OP was stereotyping in the first place)

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    I’ve not said ia am offended

    Spoilsport.

    Sancho
    Member

    There is the rolling of the wrist too, a lot of indian guys do this when making a point.

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