Shakira’s Super Bowl halftime show sparks both a meme and a history lesson in Arabic expression
In an act of religious importance, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez delivered a joint Super Bowl halftime show performance and it sparked both memes and a crucial history lesson in Arabic and Latinx expression.
In between the constellation of cameras circling the stage, Shakira looked towards one in her opening set, stuck out and wiggled her tongue and made a high-pitched trilling noise.
While people flocked to Twitter to meme the moment to oblivion, many got out their history books to educate people about what the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer was doing.
Someone gif that Shakira tongue IMMEDIATELY
— EE »//« (@ThePhenomenalEE) February 3, 2020
This two-in-one Shakira Super Bowl meme will make you laugh and learn.
The internet is legally obligated to make jokes out of literally everything.
So hundreds of users spent their Monday mornings memeing the “Waka Waka” artist, which we can only imagine caused insurmountable commuters to choke on their morning coffee.
the birds outside my window at 6am: pic.twitter.com/KRdlNOGzii
— stephen ossola (@stephenossola) February 3, 2020
me whenever anyone starts talking about donald trump pic.twitter.com/mWOMfXnYht
— chase (@cfree94) February 3, 2020
— Taylor Lumpkin (@T_Lumpkin47ABC) February 3, 2020
But some users put her ululation into context.
What the singer did is a warble traditionally referred to as zaghrouta (زغروتة) , an Arabic expression of happy emotions.
Lmao it's called zahgroota which is a type of sound Arabs make by moving the tongue left and right and breathing out. Shakira is half Lebanese 🇱🇧 from her father's side and half Colombian 🇨🇴 from her mother's side. Her name, Shakira (Arabic: شاكرة), is Arabic for "grateful". https://t.co/jVVoc7hTmj
— Khalid Aun ㊙️ (@khalid_aun) February 3, 2020
It’s typically used by women in the Middle East and patches of North Africa during ceremonies, such as parties, weddings and the birth of a child.
Trawling through all the memes, several users were seeking to remind people that Shakira is Lebanese from her father’s side, and Colombian from her mother’s side.
Her name is Arabic for “grateful” and “thankful” (شاكرة), which is aggressively apt considering all that Shakira has done for us all.
This is called zaghrouta. It is a way to express joy or happiness in Arab culture. Elements of it can also be found in other cultures even as far as music in the Balkans. https://t.co/bixdVn34vF
— Bozi Tatarevic (@hoonable) February 3, 2020
Shaking her truth-telling hips in skin-tight leather costumes, the performance was a quick-cutting megamix of the singer’s endless discography as well as a no-nonsense affirmation of Latinx pride.
The pair sang and shimmied across the stage, and Shakira honouring both her Latin and Arabic roots was impactful for countless Latinx and Arabic views.