Deciphering India’s unique head movements (fun video)

A fun video to start the day, and one that’s already gone viral, with around a million and a half viewers.

It walks you through various Indian head movements and what they mean. From yes, no, to maybe.

This one, for example, means “maybe yes, maybe no.”

indian-head-movementsxThe BBC explains that the video is the work of Mumbai-based writer and director Paul Mathew.  Apparently, some people of Indian descent aren’t terribly happy with the video.  Most however, like it.

On the left we often get into a discussion about who is and isn’t permitted to judge whether something is offensive.  Some say only the person offended can truly judge, whereas others say that the person offended might simply be too overly sensitive, or have simply misinterpreted what was actually going on.

I’d read today, for example, that some people felt Ellen DeGeneres’ joke about Liza Minnelli, at the Academy Awards ceremony this past sunday, was transphobic.  DeGeneres’ kept referring to Liza as a man who was there impersonating the real Liza Minnelli.  I found the joke uncomfortable, if only because it seemed Liza was uncomfortable with it, and Ellen wouldn’t let it go.

Today I read that the joke was based on the fact that one of the top drag queen costumes at every gay event is to come as Liza Minnelli!  I actually hadn’t understood the joke at the time, and seeing that Liza appeared uncomfortable, the joke bothered me.  Now that I get the joke, it is kind of funny – but it still didn’t work at the time, at least not for me.

Humor is a difficult thing to pull off. In part, because you need to be very good, and the jokes need to be perfect, in order for it to be funny.  But it’s also difficult because not everyone gets a joke, even a good joke.  So you’re always going to have some people offended, or who simply don’t get it.

In the end, I found the Indian video below cute, fun and endearing.  You walk away thinking “I like that.”  And you could think worse things about a group of people.


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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