Chumbak Bobble HeadGreat article on the CNN website about the one complete universal in India – the head bobble. Story here.

It’s very hard to resist developing when you live here…

And it’s much beloved. For instance I’ve recently bought this lovely ‘bobble head’ from Chumbak to sit on my desk at home.

It’s accepted that it’s confusing to many foreigners, as the yes nod and no head-shake is reversed from Western usage. What can make it even more confusing is that particularly polite and cultured Indians will reverse their head nodding for the language they’re in. So in English yes is up and down and for Indian languages it’s side to side.

That however, can be very confusing for foreigners though -you’ve just got used to assuming up and down means no, and now¬† sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.

Although to be fair – that conditional state does apply to much in this country. Which is a big part of what makes it marvelous. Infuriating, but marvelous.