Shakira’s Super Bowl Ululation is Actually an Arabic Tradition

Jasen Vinlove - USA Today Sports

We learned a lot last night.

We learned that Andy Reid can manage a clock. We learned that Jennifer Lopez still has it, although if you watched Hustlers you already knew that. We also learned that some people were offended by the halftime performance with Shakira because it was “racy” or “smutty” or some other assorted nonsense, which is crazy to me because Adam Levine took his shirt off last year and nobody got bent out of shape over that.

Two clips were shared more than any others last night on social media. The first was this bit of booty shaking, which really piqued some interest, if you know that I mean:

And the second was this amazing turkey call/ululation that sounded like the thing you used to do when you played “cowboys and Indians” with your friends back in the day (which I think is now offensive in 2020.) You used to put your hand over your mouth and then move it back and forth real fast, to emulate a high-pitched war cry or battle call or something like that.

Shakira did it this way:

I learned two things about this last night:

  1. this is called a “Zaghrouta,” which is a traditional Arabic thing you do when you’re cheering or excited
  2. Shakira’s father has Lebanese roots

Here’s more background via The Washington Post:

Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer in Near Eastern and ethnic studies at the University of California at Berkeley, told The Washington Post that he immediately recognized the unusual noise as a zaghrouta.

The expression has a “long-standing cultural presence” in countries such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, Bazian said. It is most commonly used by women at weddings in call-and-response form, but it has variations that make appearances at graduations and birthdays.

“It definitely has a long history without putting a particular date to it,” he said. “So much so that no wedding or celebration would be complete without having a zaghrouta expression taking place.”

Shakira’s usage can be most closely compared to an American cowboy shouting “yee-haw!” in celebration, Bazian said.

You learn something new every day.

For this reason, and other reasons, the Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performance now goes on my Mount Rushmore of Super Bowl halftime shows.


15 Responses

  1. The NFL has really gone downhill fast. THUGS for players & sluts for entertainment.

      1. but both the league and Fat Slob turned their heads, cause he has talent..Honey Badger (stand up guy)

        More importanly, 32 coaches in this league, the only one worse at game planning in a big game is who Andy gets to go against in the Superbowl.

        All that talent–10 points in 52 minutes, then the hold my beer Shanahan moment. Dude has blown combined 35 point leads in literally 30 minutes of football in his only 2 appearances.


    1. He can’t. Kinkhead has had a Kobe dildo in his mouth for over a week so he’s had trouble typing.
      You would expect kinkhead to ignore the fact that Kobe rayped and woman and cheated on his
      wife. After all, kinkhead did get canned fromCeeBeeE$$ for raycyst remarks using the company acct.
      kinkhead is a fucking disgrace.

  2. It’s j lo and Shakira , were people really expecting to see some talented singing act? Shakira can dance and is sexy as hell. Jo can’t sing and can’t dance but has a fat ass which she has built her entire career off. She can’t act either. Yeah they’re hot, but the music is terrible and they were not even singing it. Mount Rushmore ? Of course you would, but you would for the woke message at the end that made zero sense

  3. Has anyone asked Shakira if that is what she was doing or is everyone just repeating this stupid article that is all of the internet today. It may have just been gibberish? Aslo tons of people were trasj=hing Levine after the Super bowl last year.

  4. It looks to me that she has perfected the move.

  5. This is the biggest load of rationalization I’ve heard since the days of I only buy Playboy for the articles

  6. That fat Mormon asshole finally doesn’t make any stupid mistakes when I have money on the other side? This game was an inside job and all of the players were crisis actors. I want my bread back.

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