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  1. #31
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    For an Equality law to allow inequality, is not an equality law. I abhor anything which seeks to seperate people based upon something they had no say over, something they were born with. Of activities other than BD, where else does it exist genders are kept seperate, definately not in maternity classes, the root of any inequality issues.

    Fine, according to Arabic tradition, males are taught seperate from females, in that tradition, but how is a male to learn what he seeks if no males exist to teach. So somewhere in it all, this inequality/equality issue, there has to be a compromise. Inequality will be felt by males and females as long as old rules are adhered to. As the world changes, then so must we to move forward, cultures that clash can compromise and through compromise comes understanding, something we are in dire need of in this world.

    But as for minority cultures in the majority cultures of another land, it is for that minority culture to adapt to that of the majority and where laws exist for the majority, they exist for the minority too. To set up a distinction, a seperate community within another community invites suspicion and where there is suspicion there is the other things of envy, hate, dislike, distrust,fear etc, all the negatives that are placed, but are misplaced by the lack of understanding.

    I lived in a Expatriate community within an Islamic country where I noticed things I came to dislike about my countrymen. The dislike caused by the isolation of the communities the result being a colonial attitude where the nationals were regarded and discussed as natives and natives in need of western superiority. The community was set up in the desert by the authorities of that land, no doubt to keep western influence from tainting the nationals, but to my mind they were wrong, as it is my belief that when in another country, I am subject to the laws, customs and ideals of that country, and as a guest in that country, I will comply. As to the things the west is blatant about, in such states the same happens, but behind closed doors and not in the eye of the public or the religious authorities. People will be people we are the same the world over, it is just we have to learn to accept and adapt to move forward in understanding.

    Where there is inequality, there will be no understanding and where people seek to be unequal, they could find their needs sated in other lands, the west is supposed to be the lands of the free, we would all do well to remember that.

    If your heart is free, your personage follows.
    Khanjar,

    You are missing a very vital point here.

    Muslims and Arabs who live in this country are part of this country, not a sperate minority of visitors who are expected to 'follow' our rules.

    The Yemeni community in Britian is over 100 years old.

    There was also an excellent programme called the history of Islam in Britain.

    If people come to live here from elsewhere then they maybe in for a culture shock like anywhere else.

    Islam is also a 'British' religion and is the second largest in the country.

    Both Christianity and Isam are from the Middle East.

    By this I mean people who practice religion in the Uk are not just visitors.

    There is also such thing as catholic culture and they too have their own way of doing thisngs as do Jews and everyone else.

    Separate gender activities came about for many many reasons, but mostly because girls/women tended to be excluded from the mainstream amd treated unfairly for thousands of years.

    I am sure you must know what i am talking about, it's not all that long ago things changed.

    What you are discussing is a philosophy that not everyone shares, so should they all be expected to follow?

    YouTube - History of Islam in Britain, Past and Present

    is that equality?

  2. #32
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    I'm torn between the urge to respond, and the urge not to take the thread in an entirely random direction

    I cannot understand any link between equality and the standards/state of dancing in the UK. I cannot see how making classes 'inclusive' promotes or detracts from standards. To me this in an entirely separate issue.

    But Khanjar I am really struck by how you want both:
    Integration, the world village, acceptance of other cultures and cultures away from their homeland...
    but then also:
    ...it is for that minority culture to adapt to that of the majority and where laws exist for the majority, they exist for the minority too...
    These sit really uneasily together for me. It seems you want one thing, but then condemn it in the same breath. There have been different cultures sat alongside one another forever. These may be on many different things, the focus currently tends to be on race, but there is also gender, class, politics, religion ad infinitum. Those in control just used to be alot better at keeping it that way. So there was a majority 'culture'. Whose was it? Not mine for sure. For a start I am female. The 'majority culture' here in the UK is christian (not the majority of people, but the culture that is played out). I'm sure I've read on here before you have different beliefs. How would you feel if you couldn't have your beliefs, and had to be subservient to christian culture?

    And
    ...where else does it exist genders are kept seperate, definately not in maternity classes, the root of any inequality issues
    Am I misreading that or are you saying maternity classes are the root of inequality

    I don't want to send this thread on some random path, but I couldn't let that view go unchallenged, and wanted to give a little food for thought.

  3. #33
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Perhaps I have a misunderstanding of knowledge here, as that youtube video plainly shown, but what I do have to ask, is why, where I hear it, is there suspicion and even dislike of these people ? Why also is it the youth of these people dislike our people, what is it, is it just racism, or is the press creating something that is on an extreme minority scale and projecting it as a problem ?

    Maybe my understanding of the religious issue is such, because I myself am outside of the Allah/God faith, the God faith, Christianity driving me away, well, Roman Catholicism anyway.

    So, of Islamic and Arabian culture, the males, do they not dance, does no one teach them, what is the truth of ME dance culture in Britain as far as those of originating countries are concerned ?

  4. #34
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    Who are 'these' people? Who are 'our' people? What youth of 'these' people do you know?

    There was an interesting thing on TV a while ago (I wish I could find it on youtube) where they showed British newspaper headlines about Muslims and replaced it with the word Jew. People were shocked by the word Jew in the headline, and saw it as unacceptable. The word Muslim not so. (Imho this is not because people are intentionally doing this, it is just what you are used to or not used to seeing, but this formulates what people believe to be 'reality' which is why it matters)

    There are books and books on this stuff, discussing why things are presented in different ways, what is means and so on. Go and read some if you're interested. If you want to know the whole history of East/West, there is masses of information. (Books not the internet)

    (Found it, Prejudicial Headlines | Dispatches: It Shouldn't Happen to a Muslim | Free Video Clips from Channel 4. In a delicious twist of fate my googling led me to the BNP website, who mentioned it, so I could find it)
    Last edited by karena; 04-07-2009 at 02:58 PM. Reason: add link

  5. #35
    V.I.P. Caroline_afifi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karena View Post
    Who are 'these' people? Who are 'our' people? What youth of 'these' people do you know?
    ALL of the citizens of Great Britain.

    You can see just by the way some people think (even in if not intended) how devisive their language is.

    There was an interesting thing on TV a while ago (I wish I could find it on youtube) where they showed British newspaper headlines about Muslims and replaced it with the word Jew. People were shocked by the word Jew in the headline, and saw it as unacceptable. The word Muslim not so. (Imho this is not because people are intentionally doing this, it is just what you are used to or not used to seeing, but this formulates what people believe to be 'reality' which is why it matters)
    This is what Mahmood did a few months ago to make the same point and look what happend there!

    There are books and books on this stuff, discussing why things are presented in different ways, what is means and so on. Go and read some if you're interested. If you want to know the whole history of East/West, there is masses of information. (Books not the internet)
    can you suggest any good ones in particular that are 'reader friendly'?

    (Found it, Prejudicial Headlines | Dispatches: It Shouldn't Happen to a Muslim | Free Video Clips from Channel 4. In a delicious twist of fate my googling led me to the BNP website, who mentioned it, so I could find it)
    Good work!

  6. #36
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Agh, I am way behind on this thread...
    Quote Originally Posted by khanjar View Post
    I think this dance will move forward in the UK, when all teachers and students adopt the understanding that the dance is open to all who wish to learn it, it is not a private club for one gender, but a learning opportunity for all.
    I disagree. It can be open to everyone and their cat, that won't make standards one bit higher. You just might add some dancing cats to the mix (ooh, business opportunity, hipscarves for cats. You read it here first folks... ).

    So, of Islamic and Arabian culture, the males, do they not dance, does no one teach them, what is the truth of ME dance culture in Britain as far as those of originating countries are concerned ?
    Social dance and your own folk forms you learn by copying friends and family. Outside that environment I guess you need lessons.

  7. #37
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aniseteph View Post
    Agh, I am way behind on this thread...


    I disagree. It can be open to everyone and their cat, that won't make standards one bit higher. You just might add some dancing cats to the mix (ooh, business opportunity, hipscarves for cats. You read it here first folks... ).


    Social dance and your own folk forms you learn by copying friends and family. Outside that environment I guess you need lessons.
    I have to say I agree. I can't see how allowing men into classes will instantly improve the dance.
    I have great respect for the good male dancers I have seen perform and been taught by: Khaled Mahmoud, Shafeek Ibrahim and Ozgen. Certainly they are skilled and talented with a lot to give. They are helping to ensure that standards will rise in this country. But if not one singe man enters a belly dance class in the UK, standards will still rise with help from high calibre teachers and the gender of students is of no relevenace what so ever.
    I cannot exclude men from my college courses nor would I want to. the most importance thing to me is the determination of the student regardless of gender or age or race or body shape.
    I also believe that because a fair number of students have a "serious" approach these days, far more than in past decades are interested in the culture, the music and the quality of their dance.
    Of course we still have a lot of women who are in it for fun alone. Can't find too much fault with that as long as we don't have too much of the panto-bellydance leading the way in the media.I would imagine that there are few men in it for fun alone and that because men have to be more determined they may just make a dediated student! This may be the root of your claim,Khanjar but I think we have enough dedicated girls to lift the dance alone. As far as I am concerned, come on in guys the water's lovely but we don't need you to make it even lovelier. We can cope!
    As for evidence of increasingly numbers of male belly dancers- that may be true in the West and there certainly are some in the tourist areas of Turkey but I reckon performing male dancers in Egypt are only seen acceptable if they are labelled "folkloric". But I don't want to go down that sticky route.
    What will hold us back in the UK is piss-poor teaching. I constantly fear even after training, attending regular workshops and going to festivals and shows, that I don't do enough for my students. So what abot those who set up classes, advertise all kinds of wonders in their classes and yet have done F**k all in the way of keeping on top of the twin concerns of dancing and teaching.
    I see people dancing all kinds of "fusion" with no real background. I see "tribal dancers" who may or may not know who the hell is Carolena Nerrichio.
    I attended a hafla and saw a beginners, intermediate and advanced section of a class all doing routines and coudn't distinguish a skill level.
    At one end, we see lovely dancers sweating away in hours of workshops with high quality tuition as at the weekend JoY and those who take the money and run no where....
    Last edited by lizaj; 04-07-2009 at 06:11 PM.

  8. #38
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    If you wish to raise the level of dancing in the UK, why not in those areas where there is a strong concentration of classes differentiate between classes aimed at fun and classes aimed at serious learning ? Everyone knows when one has funny people or not so serious people in a class, they can slow a class down, to the annoyance of the more serious students.

    What is the demand for BD classes in the UK, high or low ? If it is high, then you can differentiate to raise standards, but if it is low, then that is going to be difficult.

    Perhaps a way to increase interest, is education, education via publicity and the right kind of publicity, educate the journalists to the reality of the art, not the crap they pick up in certain places on the internet, or erroneous popular thought.

    My oppinion, get rid of this idea that BD is just a mixture of exercise and dressing up, as maybe some are only in it for the dressing up and away to the pub after, a bit of exhibitionism in the name of dance.

    BD in the uk, if it wants to smarten it's act up, has to take the art seriously, so differentiation is perhaps one way of going about that, if the demand is high. If it is low, any hint of seriousness, and some people won't attend, as serious is not fun and too much like hard work.

    I don't know, perhaps some of you skilled dancers should form a company together, a company of instructors, you could travel around to raise the public awareness, and there show the public how the dance is to be performed and display the culture where necessary.

    Maybe if the performance is far better than the norm, it might stir interest from other portions of society.

  9. #39
    V.I.P. lizaj's Avatar
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    Actually I think BD as exercise has helped to raise our status. Our dance is accepted s good way to keep fit and I hear health practitioners recommending it and classes appearing in fitness centres and established in evening institutes. I would never ever decry that recognition.
    I think "even" "funsters" often put on a good show at haflas with effort put into routines and pride in costuming. Often these students just have no ambition to be professionsl (whatver that means).
    You only have to attend JoY to see the scores of older women like myself who are never going to be doyens of show business,may have no intentions of teaching but are interested enough in advancing their technique and knowledge. You might think- to what point? Nothng more than they are indulgng in and witnessing an art form they love.
    Festivals like JoY give us all wonderful opportunity to have fun and learn so I can't condemn fun.
    Heaven's above that's how I started...an interesting way to get fit and I loved dressing up for classes with Kharis..haunting charity shops, scouring the internet, grabbing every video and CD(oooer tape I could)..that desire for a fun way to exercise led to a fascination with all aspects of the dance, a desire even at that advanced age (51) to do it properly and on to an exploartion of the culture the dance belonged to.
    Now not every student will follow that obsessed path but they will still get satisfaction out of a well run class and the occasional performance.
    The fault lies rarely with students' attitudes...it has to be teacher who inspires and promotes further interest. And that may mean encouraging promising and or further intrigued students to go far beyond what s/he can offer.
    I am sorry but I believe the answer lies in the improvement of teacher skills and attitudes. We should value our long standing teachers and encourage new ones to high standards of development.

  10. #40
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    If you think the problem lies with the instructors, then perhaps the instructors should attend classes themselves on how to become better instructors, a teacher training school perhaps. But then there lies a problem, who decides what school is the correct school, as surely as one school springs up, there will be others and there the inter school, whose better than who saga. If that is a way to go, then a controlling body is needed to police these schools to ascertain an accepted standard.

    Maybe a controlling body is needed, a body that can also be there to act in such a way to correctly publicise and educate all who are interested in the art form and the culture attached. They could even be a repository for all information and there sort the wheat from the chaff

    Yes, perhaps that is the way, BD has been here long enough now, maybe it is time it was controlled, overseen and standards raised, a good way forward.

    I am usually opposed to any kind of control, but sometimes it is necessary for the betterment of all.

    I wonders though, if there were a governing body, maybe the ASMED instructors would be involved, there improving access for all.

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