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.

Despite the plethora of memes, some Twitter users were quick to spot the true meaning behind Shakira’s tongue trill a Zaghrouta

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.