Do as the Kurdish do?

by Luke Archer

Proactive investigator of other cultures that I am (read: encouraged to do things by housemate), I went to the Città dell’Utopia (Utopian City) last weekend to see some Kurdish dancing.

Looking pretty much like a dilapidated village hall, I am not quite sure they are at Utopia-level yet in appearance. There was a 3D model of how it would look after being refurbished, which looked great but was also surrounded by tall (currently non-existent) trees. Perhaps they are just being realistic about the time it will take them to finish it.

Talking of trees: are trees adorned with hanging kitchenware the pinnacle of far-left aesthetics? There was one decorating the entrance, and this was certainly not the first sad-looking saucepan tree I have seen in similar surroundings. Maybe it is meant to be edenic in a modern way – mother nature providing not only the vegetables, but the pot to cook them with too. Regardless, rushing to untie a colander from a tree in the middle of cooking does not seem that paradisal to me.

Digression over, when I arrived there was a solemn-sounding Q&A going on (in Italian) so I milled about for a while until some singing started. All was well, until I saw a growing line of dancers in front of me; grabbing embarrassed arrhythmic observers as they danced in increasingly-fast circles around the room. Obviously, I speedily slunk away to a safe corner, so I could watch them free from the horror of having to join in. Party-pooper and all that, but dancing a dance I didn’t know with people I didn’t know was way too much for me on a Sunday afternoon (i.e. post-Saturday night).

It was amazing to watch a serpentine trail of dancers in perfect, complex synchronisation. I liked the scarf-waving too. Still, here is what my cumbersome rigidity was up against:

Watching them did make me wish that there was a dance that everyone knew in the UK that would pop up at social occasions. I suppose the drunken uniform movements of the past-middle-aged guests at weddings could fill that gap. Unless anyone else is up for a Morris dance revival?