Grown Up Hobbies ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ

Instructor: What you need to focus on for this yearsโ€™ recital is the โ€˜mawwalโ€™.

Me: ma-what?

…………………………………………………๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ซ………………………………

There are several ways to learn about other cultures when you either canโ€™t afford or just arenโ€™t capable of (for whatever reason) traveling outside the US.

Internet ๐Ÿ–ฅ

Library ๐Ÿ“š

Television/ YouTube ๐Ÿ“บ

Or…..engage in a hobby that will give you exposure to people from a foreign culture who happen to live in your area ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜.

…………………………………………….๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ซ…………………………………..

In 2016 I began taking โ€œbelly danceโ€ classes and got to the point where I was occasionally dancing in public in group choreographies.

Me performing in a group choreography in 2018.

In the fall of 2018 I became interested in more than just the dancing so I joined โ€œProject Culture*โ€ (*name changed to protect my privacy), which is a specific course of dance study where you learn to improvisational dance to traditional live Arabic music.

The live music and dancing of this nature can typically be experienced right here in America in Greek or Middle Eastern restaurants, at festivals, Haflas, Arab night clubs, and etc.

The munchkin became my โ€œplus oneโ€ on occasion, accompanying me when I was scheduled to perform as part of the โ€œProject Culture*โ€ Dance class I am taking. I thoroughly enjoy bringing him and having him try the food, hear the music (he is not a fan of zills ๐Ÿ˜…) and experience different nationalities of people. The people in turn would also be exposed to him. ๐Ÿ˜‡

*Iโ€™m not sure of the statistics of autism in middle eastern countries but if you do know please comment down below.*

Out and about with my โ€œplus oneโ€!

To prepare for our formal recital our instructor sets up songs for us to dance to at a local Greek restaurant so we can get used to dancing solo in public. A lot of times we arenโ€™t told what the songs we will be dancing to are, because most Arab musicians, when they play a song, almost never play it exactly the same way twice. Ideally during improv you don’t want to over anticipate what comes next in the song. So not knowing the โ€œpracticeโ€ song simulates not knowing how the song will be played by the live band come recital time. Hope that makes sense ๐Ÿ˜ฌ .

Imagine my excitement when a resident medical student from the United Arab Emirates happened to visit my lab (yes I work in a lab). On the last day of her work with us I agreed to show her a clip of my belly dancing. I decided to show her a clip of me dancing to a mawwal from my โ€œProject Cultureโ€ class at the Greek restaurant. I was particularly proud of this performance because not only had I never heard the song before but one thing that always made me nervous about belly dancing solo in public was that I would be nervous and stiff, and in that clip I wasnโ€™t (stiff ๐Ÿ˜ณ).

…………………………………………………….๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ………………………………………………………………………

Medical Resident: *teary eyed* Do you know the meaning of the words he is saying?

Me: No, I didnโ€™t pick this song. It was chosen for me as part of my dance class.

Medical Resident: Mawwalโ€™s are tricky. This one is talking about war and blood shed in Syria.

Me: ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜“

……………………………………………………..๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ…………………………………………………………………………..

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸพWith over 40 years of middle eastern Dance and music experience, I expected more from my instructor, in way of researching lyrics of a song before having students dance to it in a public space.๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿพ

A space where unsuspecting patrons will bring their families and friends.

A space where I bring my son who watches me, and is learning, as I am learning, to be more culturally aware.

To anyone who would happen to come across a clip of me dancing to this mawwal:

!!!!! I APOLOGIZE !!!!

Please also comment down below, what are some ways you obtain a โ€œ travel experience โ€œ without actually traveling?

๐Ÿง For an actual clip of me dancing to a mawwal (lyrics are a love song) please check out my instagram page @around_the_way_37.

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