Friday, April 25, 2008

#188: Dancing With Members of the Same Sex


It's no surprise that Indians enjoy dancing. On wedding occasions, birthday occasions, pooja occasions, after party occasions, bhangra occasions, and garba occasions, Indians love to crank dat curry sauce and cut a Persian rug.

What is somewhat eye-opening, however, is the Indian penchant for dancing with members of the same sex. In metropoles around the world Indian men and Indian women congregate in groups of their own gender and make their shoulders lean. Maybe it's a sociological result of a conservative culture inhibiting casual and free interaction between the sexes beginning at a very young age. Or maybe it's more simple than that; maybe Indians just like getting down with people that share their genitalia.

You've seen this phenomenon manifest itself at every SASA show, Diwali Function, Holi Fest, India Night, Fusion Concert, and Diversity in Dance Celebration you've ever been to. In nearly each Hindi Flim Remix Dance there is an even number of boys and girls. One would assume this ratio would facilitate quick and easy partner pairing.

Wrong. Instead, Indians prefer to break fusion dances into gender specific portions during which all the girls dance together and subsequently all the boys dance together. Girls will usually do something vaguely inspired by Indian classical forms while the boys will break out their classic Blackstreet-meets-112-meets-'Nysnc-meets-DDLJ hip-hop bhangra routine to the ritual cheers of "Oh my Gawwwwwwds, so sexy Pratul!" from the crowd.

One also sees the Indian proclivity for same sex brown downs in numerous national dance competitions that encourage dude-on-dude dancing and girl-on-girl garbas. Bhangra Blowouts, Dandia Dhamakas, and Raas Riots from Berkeley to GW feature large groups of Indians breaking it down on stage with finger flags and wooden dowels while the opposite sex watches from the seats of the amphitheater, left only to "ooh" and "aah" at hammer downs, poorly executed worms and gratuitous shoulder mounting. Clearly, as evinced by by these demonstrations of dancing in practice, in India girls garba with girls, boys bhangra with boys and only girls named Lakshmi do Kathak.



Perhaps nowhere else is the practice of same sex dancing between Indians more prevalent in the community than at the club or after party. Normally, social interaction tends to escalate during the course of the night from immature tom-foolery to more intimate exchanges on the dance-floor. One need not look further than their high school Homecoming dance to see this. At the end of Homecoming, who were you slow dancing with to Sarah McLachlans "Angel"? Pathik? Ajay? Sanjeev? No, most likely you were dancing with Kate, Katherine, Kimberly, Jenna or whichever other white girl you decided to ask as your date.

At the Indian after party, though, 9 times out of 10 by the end of the night you're huddled tight into an Urkel Circle with 5 other Indian guys throwing your arms up in unison to whatever Mariah Carey remix is most culturally salient at the moment. And where are Preity, Payal, Puja and Priyanka? Dancing with each other on the opposite side of the dance floor, of course, mentally plotting the steps for their all-female Kuchipudi dance to be performed at next year's cultural show.

6 comments:

Amused said...

Yes, it does look very weird to an outsider. homosocio behaviour.

My non-Indian boyfriend witnessed it and thought it was very strange. He was shocked, I think.

He was like, "never invite me to another party where dudes are dancing with dudes, ok?"

Anonymous said...

Why don't Indian-Americans reform this aspect of their culture. Americans of all races love Indian music, but if I'm a DJ or musician and I decide to play for the Indian crowd, as an American I can't play that music and do reggae or hip-hop because it would ruin my street credentials, which is a shame because bhangra, chutney, classical is popular listening music for Americans but it will never be club music in straight clubs because the DJs know what Indians do after a few Johnny Walkers.

adham said...



افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات ومنازل وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
شركة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة

adham said...


الشرق الاوسط من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام متحصصه فى نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ونقل العفش بالخبر كما انها توفر شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل والخبر وشركة نقل عفش بالقطيف والاحساء وجميع خدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالمنطقة الشرقية بارخص اسعار نقل عفش بالدمام وتقدم ايضا شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام والخبر
شركة الشرق الاوسط
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء
شركة نقل عفش الجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركات النقل البري بالدمام
شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
ارقام شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر

adham said...


كما انها متخصصه فى النظافة وتنظيف المنازل ونظافة بالدمام والشقق والبيوت والفلل والكنب بالدمام
شركة غسيل كنب بالدمام
شركة تنظيف كنب بالدمام
شركة غسيل خزانات بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة نظافه عامه بالدمام
شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة غسيل فلل بالدمام
غسيل عمائر بالدمام
شركة نظافة بالدمام
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالدمام
شركة تنظيف سجاد بالدمام
شركة غسيل مكيفات بالدمام

Unknown said...

I have an Indian bf and I am Puerto Rican. He send me a vid now days dancing with his friends and all were males. I was feeling weird by the way he was dancing. No ofence to my gay people i am bisexual, but he looks gay and i was thinking... Is he gay and his using me to cover himself from friends and family??? Then i started reading stuff about it and i decide to tell him: Bae you look gay dacing like that, but i better see you dancing with men that with females, cause that will descontrol you right now and can actually make you lose it while drinking and i don't want you calling me that you cheated me.

So i decided to just think abit more positive about it.