The Real Story Behind Shakira’s Tongue
Super Bowl Sunday was all about the halftime show for me. I naturally assumed that J Lo and Shakira would put on a dope performance, but could never have imagined how incredible that show turned out to be. The surprise guest? Shakira's tongue.
Shakira's tongue stole the show during Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show when the singer turned to the camera to deliver a traditional "zaghrouta" during her incredible performance alongside Jennifer Lopez.
"I ain't ever seen anything that's more meme-worthy," one Twitter user joked alongside footage of Shakira's quick tongue-wagging. However, other Twitter users made sure to point out that the tongue trick was actually a shoutout to Shakira's Lebanese-Colombian roots. "This is called zaghrouta (a.k.a. ululation in English)," one fan explained. "It is a joyful sound Arabic speakers make when cheering and celebrating."
Okay, so there was a method to the madness. When I first saw it, I just thought she was being a bad ass and having a great time. I didn't know there was a cultural backing.
What exactly is the zaghrouta? It's described as a “long, wavering high-pitched vocal soul representing trills of joy,” usually performed during joyful events like weddings and parties, according to the American Tunisian Association.
Shakira brought us an amazing show PLUS educated all of us on a cultural tradition we didn't know about? I stan.