Saturday, March 22, 2014

So Who Can Belly Dance?

Recently I gazed at that on-line magazine, Salon, and I decided that I happened into the country for earnest, humor-challenged liberals.  [I find Slate to be more my liking, especially because of Dear Prudie.]

Poor people!  I'm saying that about people who have probably clocked more time than I did.  Anyway, here's a surprise to me, at least:

Randa Jarrar, presumably of Middle Eastern origins takes issue with white women performing the belly dance, calling this a "cultural appropriation."  Using this same rationale, break dancing should be limited to African-Americans, the limbo to Caribbean peoples, line dancing for Texans, the Polka and pole dancing to Poles, and the Shag only for people carrying valid South Carolina driver's licenses.  Should the Virginia reel be performed only in Virginia, or only by Virginians, or both?

And, mon Dieu, if you're not French you have no right to make croissants!  Let's be upfront about this cultural appropriation stuff.

Anyway, belly dancing was a fad several years ago.  It was a popular rec center class in various places in the South, reckoned as a bit behind the curve as compared to the pace-setting East and West coasts.  I even briefly took a class; but purchased no belly dancing ensemble.  Anyway, when is one going to be called on to belly dance?  At a church social, if you're a hardshell Baptist or charismatic Catholic or Presbyterian?  I think the idea of Presbyterians doing belly dancing causes me to wonder about what was in my coffee.

Talk about 'cultural appropriation'?  Look at St. Patrick's Day.  Begorrah!

So I say, lighten up, ponder, or dawlin'!



TexWisGirl said...

if you can belly dance, i say go for it, no matter the nationality.

TexWisGirl said...

p.s. i would not be successful at it.

Anemone said...

You would think that most from Eastern cultures would feel flattered due to the imitation of their artifacts, but maybe I
m shallow.

Mike said...

My belly starts dancing every time I attempt to jog.

Chuck Bear said...

Nothing like a hissy fit in writing. Salon has 'em.

Duckbutt said...

It sounds like a nonissue to me.

As for the Virginia reel, has that state passed any legislation attempting to regulate it?

And who may do the limbo, other than half-lit parrotheads after too many beers?

Bilbo said...

I think Mike and I have similar belly dancing issues. And Duckbutt has a point about Virginia - the enlightened state that's tried to impose invasive ultrasound exams on women who have done the wrong belly dance. In any case, my Egyptian friend Bakr told me once that non-Middle Eastern women can't belly dance not because of race or ethnicity, but because they're too thin ... he maintained that the best belly dancers were middle Eastern because those women were more "full-figured" (and so could, presumably, shake more and better bootie than Western women). I do not take a position on the issue, other than the position of sitting and happily watching.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

An interesting idea, that belly dancing should be for big girls.

beach lad said...

Randa is off the mark with this cultural appropriation stuff - surely she couldn't mean that this little gem should only be performed by drunken aussie bogans!