Monday, November 23, 2009

You ducking like a bobble-head!

That was a phrase from the dance movie "Honey" (Jessica Alba) and it made me laugh today because when I was watching the movie it reminded me of something I have witnessed often here, wait for it..."The Famous Indian Head Wobble". Note to self: wobble can and often is replaced with wiggle, niggle, bobble or wizzle (only if you are Snoop Dogg of course).

What is this, you ask? Its talked about a lot in Gregory David Roberts book Shantaram as a form of expression or a peaceful gesture, which often got him out of some tight spots as a foreigner in Bombay. But read here for more fascinating info! Surprised by the number of web pages about this interesting action AND the fact that there are different head wobbles for varying regions in India? Seriously its the coolest thing but who would have known? And it is something that both men and women do.

Put simply, I love it...its contagious*, and they love it when you do it back. The problem is that unfortunately I can't do it and its frustrating the hell out of me! Well maybe I can do it (believe me, I have practiced in the privacy of my own home AND in front of the mirror...actually I'm doing it right now and you are probably trying it too!) but not the way I want to and I thought I had rhythm like a Black girl stuck in a Polynesian girl's body but alas, my neck is too stiff and I can't wobble with the best of them (but dance, thats another ball game).

*If you ever get caught up amongst a group of Indians just stop for a minute to observe the head wobbling going on, its fascinating! One wobbles to say "yes, I agree/understand" and then the other starts to wobble as a sign of "thank-you/very good" and next thing you know there is wobbling back and forth and the only still head in the store/place/restaurant is mine and Duma's :)

But if you are an westerner and you manage to pull off the head wobble = HAPPY DAYS! You will experience the biggest grin from your Indian compadre EVER and its sure to make you giggle a little, no matter how old or mature you are :)

It's like a western conversation which goes back and forth - only we refer to this as being "like a tennis match" where we move our head from side. But these wobbles are totally different, they are a delicate blend of sideways and up-down action that uses all of the neck muscles possible, truly a sight to see :)

In this part of the world there are Indian bobble-heads on every corner and in every store and I LOVE it...their wobbles and bobbles and niggles and wiggles (and wizzles) make the world more colourful and cheery, so long as they aren't the person who is trying to cut you off the road or push in the service counter line @ Carrefour!

Enjoy this, its a funny video by a Canadian guy and is meant to be a tongue in cheek about his experiences teaching in India, so please don't get offended! Feel free to stop watching at 3.22 as thats where he starts talking about other things.

Like I said, I LOVE the head wobble and wanted to share :)

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