L’importanza dei linguaggi non verbali nella cultura indiana


Abstract Nonverbal languages are an integral part of human communication since they transmit substantial information such as emotions and psychological conditions, and therefore they contribute to understanding. Culture affects nonverbal behaviours. The Indian subcontinent is highly multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multilingual, and language diversity often makes communication difficult. In India alone, there are 22 official languages besides about 400 other languages. The populations of the southern area, who speak languages of Dravidian origins, do not have a common language to communicate with people living in the North, who speak languages of Aryan origins, and even people living in the same village often speak different dialects. English, which has the status of an L2 in the country, is spoken appropriately only by those who can afford to go to English-medium schools. The majority of people can be placed in a continuum going from highly creolised forms of English to a number of ‘trade pidgins’. Yet, in spite of the inability to communicate in a common language, Indians make use of nonverbal languages, such as hand and head gestures, facial expressions, eye movements, as well as less evident messages such as dress and their colours, posture and the space between speakers. Nonverbal behaviours that Indians display in daily communication are related to those found in traditional performing and aesthetic arts. The purpose of this paper is to suggest how the knowledge of nonverbal languages is useful for an appropriate intercultural competence for interaction with migrants coming from the Indian subcontinent.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v16p621

Keywords: India; nonverbal language; intercultural communication; tradition; Hinduism


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