Shakira's Tongue Provides a Cultural Lesson - Page 2

People missed the significance of her 'tongue thing' during halftime show
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2020 11:40 AM CST
Updated Feb 8, 2020 1:00 PM CST

  • The pushback: "Hey guys? Your ignorance is showing," wrote one user on Twitter when the initial jokes surfaced. "Shakira's 'tongue flicking' is a cultural reference to Barranquilla's Carnaval and a celebration of Colombia's culture." Another along those lines: "[D]ebated whether to chime in, but so many disrespectful memes," wrote another user. "Shakira wasn't just being funny with the 'tongue thing.' [W]hat she did is called a zaghrouta, an Arabic tradition used to express joy, excitement, celebration. [T]ypically heard at weddings."
  • Another nod: Shakira was celebrating her heritage, notes Billboard. "In addition to the zaghrouta, Shak honored her Colombian heritage by dancing Champeta and Mapalé, two popular Afro-Colombian dances."
  • Making history: Shakira herself hasn't commented specifically on the moment, but she and Jennifer Lopez have won rave reviews for their halftime show, the first to feature two Latina singers. It was the "best birthday gift," tweeted Shakira, who turned 43 on Sunday. "We Latinos climbed Kilimanjaro and made history tonight and we couldn't have done it without all of you!"
  • Empowering: At USA Today, Hanna Yasharoff notes that some critics called the performers' racy outfits inappropriate in the MeToo era. Yasharoff feels the opposite. The MeToo movement "is about exposing wrongdoing and allowing victims to take back power," she writes. "What better way to honor that than putting women in the driver's seat? In the debate over whether something is empowering or objectifying, it's important to check who holds the power. Lopez and Shakira did nothing Sunday night if not command power." At ages 50 and 43, no less.
(Lopez made a statement of her own.)

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