Princess Farhana

Jet Phoenix

New member
I met her once at a workshop, and she is the sweetest thing ever.

I have enjoyed some of her videos and her dances,

but...when my students see her, I often remind them:

That may fly in California, but don't try that here in a small Texas Southern Baptist Town! :lol:

The one move I am referring to is in her sword video, she balances it on her chest...:redface:

do that here, and the audience may spontanously get up and start a protest! :lol: (picture Spongebob cartoon where the fish all whip out their signs and pitchforks!):D

But it did show the students that "practices and standards" vary by location, even within the same country (even within the same town!), and one should be aware of that when traveling for shows, workshops, whatever.

When Princess Farhana danced at the workshop, she was wonderful! Her belly rolls were the most amazing I have ever seen. As one audience member described it: It was like she had a ball in her belly she could move anywhere she wanted! Sounds strange, but believe me, her control and range of motion were "Wow!"

Nor did she moon anyone!:lol:
 

Violeetsidhe

New member
It's very difficult to find information that is not biased when it comes to religious issues, especially Islam because it has not undergone any real reform like Judaism and Christianity.

I think I can dig up something suitable for you. PM and let me know exactly what about hijab you'd like to know, and I'll get back to you. Don't want to get too far off topic. ;)
i find it very interesting the whole headdress things since back in the middle ages christian women did the same thing
 

karena

New member
i find it very interesting the whole headdress things since back in the middle ages christian women did the same thing
And still do if they're nuns, and aren't there some christian denominations that do in every day life? Can't remember what they are but see them every now and again and they are small and triangular (the headscarves, not the people :lol: )
 

Ranya

New member
Karena I am not sure what the order is called, but in the villages in my country (Slovakia) women, mostly from the older generation, still wear headscarves because according to the tradition married women covered their hair and they are "normal" catholics, no particular denomination. Nowadays you don't see that anymore, even with women who are very devout. So this practice is dissappearing progressively. I guess it comes from the jewish tradition where married women cover their hair, and therefore nuns cover their hair because they are regarded as "married" in spiritual terms (if I am not mistaken, I admit I know very little about nuns and all that).
 
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Reen.Blom

New member
Karena I am not sure what the order is called, but in the villages in my country (Slovakia) women, mostly from the older generation, still wear headscarves because according to the tradition married women covered their hair and they are "normal" catholics, no particular denomination. Nowadays you don't see that anymore, even with women who are very devout. So this practice is dissappearing progressively. I guess it comes from the jewish tradition where married women cover their hair, and therefore nuns cover their hair because they are regarding as "married" in spiritual terms (if I am not mistaken, I admit I know very little about nuns and all that).
My both granma's used to wear head- dress because it was 'decent' for a married woman to do so!
 

da Sage

New member
Yeah, I don't know why Christians get all weirded out about Mulimahs' headscarves...if they'd bothered to read the Bible, they'd see it's required for Christians, too (depending on how seriously you take Paul's directives).
 

da Sage

New member
back on topic

Of course, the problem with letting someone make a documentary on you, is they can spin it however they want, and you can't do anything about it. I'd much rather have Miles Copeland do a documentary on me, than some of the sensationalist filmmakers out there. Theoretically, of course.;)
 

Reen.Blom

New member
Yeah, I don't know why Christians get all weirded out about Mulimahs' headscarves...if they'd bothered to read the Bible, they'd see it's required for Christians, too (depending on how seriously you take Paul's directives).
Well THAT is the cause with lot of Atheists too, whether it is a muslim head-dress or say a crucifix.... I know some schools would not tolerate something like that.... I think it is not about Muslims vs Christians, but "Us vs Them"... I suppose if you go without a head-dress in acounty where it is accepted you will be in trouble as well... Sad..... :(:(:(
 

gypsy8522

New member
So as I said before, I have no right to talk about Princess Farhana. I’ve done what she’s doing. It's not the exact same thing, but it's very similar. Some of the exact same phrases and attitudes used towards me have been used towards Princess F. in the dance community.

I don't really find a problem with belly dancers ,while some others who come from the same cultural and religous background as me do. Although I don't agree with them, and their viewpoints sometimes make me boil, I still try to understand where they are coming from. For somebody who is speaking from a religous point of view, they are absolutely right. I dare anybody to find me an imam or Christian priest who thinks it is acceptable for women to dance in a sequined bra in public. I've recently read a comment by an American dancer who said in his review that the personal beliefs of Egyptians are "religous nonsense", because they expect people to be modest and women not to dance half naked in public. Well, guess what? Not everyone is willing to reform a religion that has existed more than a thousand years so that it fits their own lifestyle and in order to please others. I've seen many negative things written about my country, where belly dancing comes from , it surprizes me that people who say these things continue to listen to our music and perform our cultural dances...

about Princess Farhana, for those complaining "look what she's wearing, she's sending the wrong image yadda yadda yadda. Something to learn from this clip is what may be "okay" for one person, may be too much or extreme for someone else. I know many Middle Easterners who also think that dancing in a badla is giving the "wrong image" about their culture, just like belly dancers in badlas who think this bum shaking lady is giving them a bad name. I am not fond of burlesque, I don't like to see women oversexualizing themselves, as I personally think it takes away from a woman's dignity. But, I've seen much worse representations of women and/or belly dancing in hollywood films and rap videos, so I don't understand why is it a huge problem. Her presentation did make me laugh. It's silly and definately not anything like Middle Eastern dancing, but I don't see the difference between Princess Farhana and a few other American dancers who are so convinced that they're actually performing the "real Middle Eastern dancing" (no fusion) when they're actually not... at least she's not delusional!!
 

karena

New member
I dare anybody to find me an imam or Christian priest who thinks it is acceptable for women to dance in a sequined bra in public.
I hope I'm not taking this out of context and you're meaning in the Middle East, but here in the UK I'm sure it would not be too hard to find a Christian Vicar/Minister who would think it was acceptable. They come with all sorts of different views here, as illustrated by all the falling out over whether to allow gay marriage. And if I recall correctly, there was a church hall that banned belly dancing, but that was then discussed as it was the exception not the norm.
 

gypsy8522

New member
Karena,


I was actually thinking in respect to what Midoria said about Judaism and Christianity undergoing reform. I don't know exactly what it's like in the UK, but I believe that the views of those priests do contradict what the original Bible said in regards to many things. If the Bible asks women to cover up, then I guess this rule would apply to Christian women who belly dance in public, too. Of course I meant the Middle East as well, since this is where Christianity was born. I can't imagine our own Pope Baba Shenouda saying belly dancing is acceptable, in fact most copts have a very negative opinion about dancers. One of my two best friends is a copt and she thinks that "ra'asat" are the most immoral creatures to come on this planet. She disagrees with the fact that I'm interested in belly dancing, she loves to watch but she doesn't think our dancers are worthy of that much attention. Her father insisted they hire Fifi to dance at her sister's wedding for prestige, but two weeks later we sat all of us together to watch the wedding video and comments where in the line of "vulgar woman....." My mom has been with the same group of friends for the past ten years, she is the only muslim one in the bunch. When my mom recently befriended a Moroccan dancer, her friends (my mom's) asked not to invite her to sit at their table because "they worry about their reputation". So, as you can see, the mentality is pretty much the same for those who stay faithful to their religion.
 

karena

New member
Karena,


I was actually thinking in respect to what Midoria said about Judaism and Christianity undergoing reform. I don't know exactly what it's like in the UK, but I believe that the views of those priests do contradict what the original Bible said in regards to many things. If the Bible asks women to cover up, then I guess this rule would apply to Christian women who belly dance in public, too. Of course I meant the Middle East as well, since this is where Christianity was born. I can't imagine our own Pope Baba Shenouda saying belly dancing is acceptable, in fact most copts have a very negative opinion about dancers. One of my two best friends is a copt and she thinks that "ra'asat" are the most immoral creatures to come on this planet. She disagrees with the fact that I'm interested in belly dancing, she loves to watch but she doesn't think our dancers are worthy of that much attention. Her father insisted they hire Fifi to dance at her sister's wedding for prestige, but two weeks later we sat all of us together to watch the wedding video and comments where in the line of "vulgar woman....." My mom has been with the same group of friends for the past ten years, she is the only muslim one in the bunch. When my mom recently befriended a Moroccan dancer, her friends (my mom's) asked not to invite her to sit at their table because "they worry about their reputation". So, as you can see, the mentality is pretty much the same for those who stay faithful to their religion.
Of course there must be massive numbers of Christians who think that way, but equally many, many that don't. I'm no theology expert, but I think that the bible can be read in many, many different ways, hence the debate and the studies dedicated to it. And I'm sure they could give a very convincing argument for their reading, as could those with the opposite opinion, and all those with the many, many opinions in between. Personally I think religion reflects the society in which it is situated (I also think everything else reflects the society it is situated in too).
 

lizaj

New member
I hire RC social clubs for our haflas because they always have a bar unlike the Church of England ones! Father Tom at our local church has "threatened ";)to attend our functions. He seems to think belly dancing is fine by him and his parishioners. Mind you, this time I am making it clear I will NOT accept any Burlesque/belly dance fusion. I know some women can put on a tasteful enough display but some would just descend into bump and grind ( I have seen belly dancers who think that's the way to do it:shok:). And most people do expect burley dancers to be raunchy and wearing very little/stripping. I personally like burlesque (done well) but don't think it has a place at belly dance functions such as a local halfa or a family party. It's night club stuff.
I teach belly dance at a Church of England premises and they seem quite happy with the idea but cautiously found out , by questioning me, the nature of what I did.
I meet my mother every week from her church service and I think many modern Christians in churches in England would be quite accepting of both belly dancing and burlesque!!!! in the right venue!
 

Aziyade

New member
I'm not Muslim, but I fail to see why wearing hijab "sets Muslims back" or is in any way a negative thing. ????

The Mennonites are who you all were thinking of -- usually the women don't cut their hair and they wear it curled up in a bun inside a little white bonnet like thing.

BTW - not ALL Christians are bassackward hicks who don't bother to think for themselves :) LOL. I've danced for church groups, and many many Christians I've met are quite open to learning more about bellydance and Middle Eastern music. They may not be "sold" on the idea after I explain it, but at least they give it a fair listen. I danced in bedleh for a Lutheran minister, and she seemed to really enjoy it. I've danced for nuns and they seemed to enjoy it. I've been asked back more than once, so apparently I'm not bringing down fire and damnation for doing so. :)

Gypsy, Christianity isn't REALLY one big religion -- it's a whole bunch of little religions that have something -- the acceptance of Jesus as God -- in common. As such, you have people interpreting the Bible in MANY many different ways. Many Christians think that only the gospels are really important, since those are the works and acts of Jesus. Or that the "new Testament" replaces the "Old Testament." Those people wouldn't feel the need to keep "Old Testament" laws and customs.

One thing to remember is that many Christians also believe that the Bible is first and foremost a TEXT, and the product of a specific cultural/ethnic group at a specific time. (Actually it's the product of several cultures and several different times, but you get the point.) Many reformations in modern Christianity are based around the idea that taking the Bible LITERALLY means it's not as relevant to OUR culture today as it could be. The Israelites didn't have to concern themselves with the after-life repercussions of donating your body to science. First-century Christians in Rome didn't have to concern themselves with issues of cloning and genetic engineering.

Christian reformers often just want to look at "What would Jesus do" in hot-topic issues like these, rather than the "it's what was done during the Exodus, so it should still work today!" or "it was good enough for first-century Rome, it's good enough for us." A lot of people think we need to reinterpret some of the Bible in the face of modern society: Let's face it -- what man who has an open sore goes to the priest/rabbi to have it looked at? What woman secludes herself from the public while she's menstruating nowadays? How many Christians eat shellfish or do work on Sundays/Saturdays? (Not acceptable, according to the "old" testament.)

Of course, it's all open to individual interpretation -- "dress modestly" may translate to someone as "wear more than just a fig leaf" and to someone else it may mean "cover your face, hair, hands, and full body."

(We have the same issue in corporate office environments, where "business casual" dress can mean anything from "a suit without a vest" to "you have to wear shoes." It's really ridiculous.)

But back to the Princess -- I'd really rather not see this film titled "bellydancer" for the same reasons Sharon mentioned.
 

Makeda Maysa

New member
Hi Aziyade and others! I'm answering within Aziyade's post, so I don't get her words wrong or forget things.
BTW - not ALL Christians are bassackward hicks who don't bother to think for themselves :) LOL. I've danced for church groups, and many many Christians I've met are quite open to learning more about bellydance and Middle Eastern music. They may not be "sold" on the idea after I explain it, but at least they give it a fair listen. I danced in bedleh for a Lutheran minister, and she seemed to really enjoy it. I've danced for nuns and they seemed to enjoy it. I've been asked back more than once, so apparently I'm not bringing down fire and damnation for doing so. :)

Makeda says: Thank you for saying this! It frustrates me to no end that folks think that the lunatics who purport to speak for all Christians are people we've somehow elected as our official mouthpieces! No one speaks for me! And there are vast numbers of Christians who do not agree that women should be seen and not heard, that we should be covered from head to foot, that bellydance is a sin, etc. Many of my dancing friends are Christians, as are many students of bellydance. I have danced for Christian friends and have taken several to dance shows. Everyone at my church knows that I'm a bellydancer.

Gypsy, Christianity isn't REALLY one big religion -- it's a whole bunch of little religions that have something -- the acceptance of Jesus as God -- in common. As such, you have people interpreting the Bible in MANY many different ways. Many Christians think that only the gospels are really important, since those are the works and acts of Jesus. Or that the "new Testament" replaces the "Old Testament." Those people wouldn't feel the need to keep "Old Testament" laws and customs.

Makeda says: Well, I do think of Christianity as one religion, with many different denominations/sects, but I get what you're saying. The different denominations do interpret the Bible differently. For example, I am Baptist, which means I believe that one should be baptized through full body immersion. In other denominations, "christening", meaning the sprinkling of holy water on the forehead is enough (I was Christened as a baby, as I was brought up a United Methodist and changed to Baptist at the age of 20). Some denominations believe one has to speak in tongues to show evidence of salvation. Baptists believe that one is saved upon confessing Christ as Lord. We believe in the totality of the Bible. God's Word from the Old Testament still stands, but Jesus' life, death and resurrection "fulfilled" the Law, meaning, in a nutshell, that believing in Him as Lord guarantees one salvation and not the following of specific laws.

One thing to remember is that many Christians also believe that the Bible is first and foremost a TEXT, and the product of a specific cultural/ethnic group at a specific time. (Actually it's the product of several cultures and several different times, but you get the point.) Many reformations in modern Christianity are based around the idea that taking the Bible LITERALLY means it's not as relevant to OUR culture today as it could be. The Israelites didn't have to concern themselves with the after-life repercussions of donating your body to science. First-century Christians in Rome didn't have to concern themselves with issues of cloning and genetic engineering.

Makeda says: I believe the Bible is a product of its time. There are specific cultural things within it that are specific to the times/cultures in which it was written. However, I believe it to be the inspired Word of God, given to man. Man inserted his own feelings and beliefs throughout and there are things that need to be adjusted to fit the times, e.g., wearing of synthetic/mixed cloth, dietary restrictions, etc.

Christian reformers often just want to look at "What would Jesus do" in hot-topic issues like these, rather than the "it's what was done during the Exodus, so it should still work today!" or "it was good enough for first-century Rome, it's good enough for us." A lot of people think we need to reinterpret some of the Bible in the face of modern society: Let's face it -- what man who has an open sore goes to the priest/rabbi to have it looked at? What woman secludes herself from the public while she's menstruating nowadays? How many Christians eat shellfish or do work on Sundays/Saturdays? (Not acceptable, according to the "old" testament.)

Makeda says: I think all Christians should live their lives according to "What would Jesus do", though that has taken on a cheesy connotation nowadays. I believe Jesus enjoyed a good party and that dancing would have been present at said parties!
 

Aziyade

New member
Makeda says: I think all Christians should live their lives according to "What would Jesus do", though that has taken on a cheesy connotation nowadays. I believe Jesus enjoyed a good party and that dancing would have been present at said parties!


LOL! Yeah!!

But seriously, it shouldn't be cheesy, and I'm sorry that it is -- the WWJD movement I think really made Christianity APPLICABLE, to kids and teens especially, who don't fully grasp the concept of the Holy Spirit or bodily resurrection, and as a result just sort of "tune out" religious teachings. Even an 8-year-old can relate to thinking "what would Jesus do in this situation?" I wish the media hadn't turned it into something to be made fun of.
 

lilya

Member
I've recently bought Princess Farhana's "The Belly Dance Handbook" and just managed to read the first few pages yesterday. I enjoyed them - nice flow, to the point, quite "didactic" so far. (Well, growing up, one of my favourite summer holiday activities was to read the textbooks that were passed on to us from the kids finishing the next grade right at the end of the school year, so I may have had/taken a liking for this kind of approach.) I found one review of the book: http://shes-got-hips.com/a-review-of-the-belly-dance-handbook/. I did not know a whole lot about the author and I'm glad I found out a bit more in several threads here; on to finding a books thread for reading and book... marking :).
 
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