Shakira’s Tongue Trill At Super Bowl Halftime Show Becomes A Meme
From wardrobe malfunctions to dancing sharks, the Super Bowl Halftime Show is often prime material for making memes. this year’s performance is no different, with a moment from Shakira‘s performance going viral. However, the moment from the performance has a cultural significance that many viewers were unaware of.
The moment in question occurred about five minutes into the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer’s performance, where Shakira looked into the camera and performed a high-pitched tongue trill. The moment quickly found its way on Twitter, where it was re-contextualized and edited into a number of memes.
RoLooloOlooLoOoLy is the new HRiSe & Shine.
Don’t @ me pic.twitter.com/RPvdsPXbsS
— Saint Hoax (@SaintHoax) February 3, 2020
— Omar M. Khateeb (@OmarMKhateeb) February 3, 2020
the turkey who gets pardoned on Thanksgiving https://t.co/897qyYtRRm
— Jordan Moreau (@jordanmoreau_) February 3, 2020
Despite the plethora of memes, some Twitter users were quick to spot the true meaning behind Shakira’s tongue trill – a Zaghrouta
everyone is making fun of this but it’s a traditional arabic celebration chant, referred to as “zaghroota” pic.twitter.com/CP7XgY9dk2
— Rawan (@rawan) February 3, 2020
shakira’s lebanese side snapped today
— fati🇱🇧 (@fatijnoubeye) February 3, 2020
You really have to understand how huge Shakira’s performance was for the Middle Eastern community. She had belly dancing, a mijwiz and a derbeke, performed “Ojos Asi” which was one of the few Shakira songs to have Arabic in it, did a Zaghrouta, all love on the biggest stage
— Danny Hajjar داني حجار 🇱🇧 (@DanielGHajjar) February 3, 2020
Zaghrouta, often referred to in English as “Ululation,” is a tradition in and around the Arabic world, where the high-pitched trill is made to express strong feelings of joy, according to an article from Arab America. The sound, typically performed by women, is usually heard at a number of ceremonies, including weddings and births. Shakira, whose father is Lebanese, likely performed the Zaghrouta to express her happiness of performing at the Super Bowl.
Shakira and Lopez’s performance is linked below, so see the singer’s Zaghrouta for yourself.