Yes, No, or Maybe? 〜 May I Take a Picture of you?


Gateway of India, Mumbai

--- Head shaking means "Yes" in India, does it?

This is what I was asked several times when I said I had travelled in India.

In many cultures, people nod to express agreement, and shake head to express disagreement.

Mine too.

So when I travelled in India, even if I had learned of this difference in advance, I had a moment of hesitation when I faced a person who was shaking his/her head.

--- Does it really mean "Yes" ?

Moreover, even when they do not express anything special, and when they are just listening to someone, they shake their head too.

Once I asked a young Indian couple why they shaked head like that.

--- Really? I have never been conscious of that.

The girl replied.

Maybe she has been copied unconsciously what she had been seeing all the time in her life.

I asked another person ;

--- What does it mean when you Indians shake your head? I am confusing.

I read that it meant "Yes", but I am not quite sure.

He explained me that shaking head meant "Yes" or "No" or "Maybe" or "Good" or "I see" etc... so many meanings!

Then how on earth one can distinguish "Yes" shaking from "No" shaking ???

--- That's just shake slightly stronger when it stands for "No".

..... need some experience, but still very useful gesture indeed !

I found it's very lovely.

--- May I take a picture with you ?

Indian tourists asked me in Gateway of India.

I shaked my head.


May I take a picture of you ?

They shaked their head. (Uttar Pradesh State)


May I take a picture of you ?

She shaked her head. (Goa)


May I take a picture of you ?

He shaked his head. (Dadar, Mumbai)


May I take a picture of you ?

They shaked their head. (Churchgate,Mumbai)

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