Monday, January 07, 2008

Hips Don't Lie

In America, a boy who vogues or loves Beyonce too much might have to learn how to do a roundhouse kick on the fly if he wants to make it to and from home school in one piece.

But what if your dad is the one who's telling you that you must not know about him and that he can find another you in a minute? Or that Harlow, Jean, is the picture of a beauty queen? Or that hips don't lie?

Well call me Sheba, that's the case in Egypt, where men are reclaiming belly-dancing. Says the Houston Chronicle:

Male belly dancing, a centuries-old Egyptian tradition, is making a comeback — against the odds, considering its periodic suppression by government and religious officials. The problem for Mesbaah is that his craft has long been associated with homosexuality — a taboo here.

"I just like to dance," says Mesbaah, who has seven children. "It's very sensual. I've been doing it since I was little."

And all of a sudden I love my dad a little more for not flinching when I used to run around the house wanting to be She-Ra, because if I ever saw him do this:

He clanged metal castanets, magically converted his hips into pistons and twirled his head around like a centrifuge. The crowd at tables lining a dirt alley clapped rhythmically. Young men in jeans jumped up to wiggle along.

...I'd disown him.

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