The Indian Head Waggle

The Indian Head Waggle

For anyone that has travelled to India, you will know what I mean when I refer to the Indian head waggle…

It is a little sideways waggle of the head used by Indians to greet one another, say yes (it looks like more a British person saying no so can be confusing!), or acknowledge what is happening (imagine shrugging you shoulders and saying “meh” in acceptance of something).

To give is a go try and gently waggle your head using your nose as the centre point to rotate around.

I have travelled across India a couple of times and have enjoyed receiving lots of smiles as I practiced greeting local people in this way.

I must admit though, I don’t think I have really fully understood the gesture until recently.


Indian society is one of startling polarities. The extremes of wealth and poverty are clear to see on every street corner. Religious faith can be found everywhere and people share the streets with holy cows, monkeys and a variety of other animals.

Life is lived with a broad pallet of colours, and the people with the least seem to enjoy life the most.

With a society where the cities are crowded and bustling, and there is such energy and diversity, it is important to go with the flow…

Teachers are Everywhere

One day while catching the train home from work, I was sat diagonally opposite a quite obnoxious woman who thought it was appropriate to have music blaring out of her phone for the whole carriage to hear.

Now being raised with a British culture, all the other passengers including me decided to suffer in silence rather than say something. While sat there with my simmering grump, I observed my mental process… having decided not to say something, I was using the energy that could have been spent on saying something to instead invest in my grump. Feeling a little perturbed at my choice (as it was stopping me from enjoying my book) I simply decided to relax, accept and let it go.

With a few quiet deep breaths and exhales, I allowed the tension to be released and my body to relax… feeling calm and contented and actually grateful to the woman for the opportunity to practice acceptance, I then noticed a wonderful thing….

My relaxed body was gently swaying with the movement of the train and I was performing and Indian Head waggle!

Going with the flow

Sometimes in life, we simply need to make ourselves aware of the choices that we are making so we can accept our responsibility and make the right choice for us. Often, we cannot change our situation, but we can always choose how we respond to it.

So next time you feel your temperature rising and you are resisting accepting the consequences of the choices that you have made… try a little Indian head waggle to help you relax… ride the waves of the river of life and enjoy the ebb and flow.

Enjoy, for now.

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