Just for a moment look in the mirror and say yes whilst shaking your head. Then do the same
thing but say no while nodding your head. Feels and looks really strange doesn’t it? Well believe it or not, this is the norm for natural born Bulgarians. I have yet to find out why they are one of the only nations that nod and shake in the opposite way to the way we are used to doing it, but they do…….
I have often tried to ask for something in a shop and when they shake their head, thought, oh well never mind they don’t have it, only to then start to walk away (to a very puzzled look on the sales persons face) and realise they were actually telling me that YES they do have what I am looking for….
And of course someone asks you a question and you say yes with a big smile on your face but at the same time you are nodding – and then wonder why they look disappointed and walk away from you – that’s because they were watching your body language (the nod of your head) not listening to (or understanding perhaps) your words!
I still haven’t managed to nod and shake the opposite way around to the way I have always done it, but am starting to understand and remember when a Bulgarian shakes their head they are actually agreeing not disagreeing with something.
I’m not sure if I will ever manage to remember it properly and if it will ever feel natural to both watch and to do myself, but it’s great to know that this is how it works.
Image: Casual Woman With Open Hand” by stockimages courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net