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Shakira's Tongue Action During The Super Bowl Halftime Show Was Widely Memed, But Arab Twitter Says There's More To It

@fernan_doe/Twitter, @marcogarcia1701/Twitter

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira teamed up to deliver a rousing adrenaline-infused performance during the Super Bowl LIV halftime show.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, both Latina superstars experienced a surge in digital downloads based on Nielsen Music sales reports, with a 1,013% sales increase from their songs performed at their halftime show combined.


The performance included a lot of hip-shaking and, um, major tongue action.

No, not between the powerhouse superstars, you silly kids.

It was all about Shakira's tongue wagging.



In addition to the Kansas City Chiefs' star quarterback Patrick Mahomes leading the team for an epic fourth-quarter comeback to win the Super Bowl LIV title, Shakira's tongue wag became one of the most talked about moments on social media.

Some saw humor in her tongue wagging and created viral memes.








Some people did not know what to think.



School was in session after Shakira fans shut down the mockery.



They pointed out that Shakira – whose name is Arabic for "grateful" – demonstrated a Zaghrouta, which is an Arabic celebration tradition.

Zaghrouta is also known as Ululation in English, although in many cultures, Ululation is more mournful and common at funerals.





According to Arab America, crowds attending Middle Eastern weddings produce the sound of Zaghrouta to express joy and celebration.

Zaghrouta is described as:

"a form of a long, wavering, high-pitched vocal sound representing trills of joy. It is produced by emitting a high pitched loud voice accompanied by a rapid back and forth movement of the tongue."
"Ululation is usually used by women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and is commonly performed in weddings, parties, celebrations and sometimes in funerals to honor someone and to express strong emotions."


Shakira was born in Barranquilla, Columbia, on February 2, 1977 and is part Lebanese.

Her paternal grandparents emigrated from Lebanon to New York City, where her father was born. He then immigrated to Columbia when he was 5.



Twitter users continued weighing in on the cultural significance of Shakira's performance.




The cultural lesson was much appreciated.


Whether Shakira intentionally demonstrated a Zaghrouta or not continued to be challenged.


Others turned a blind eye to facts.


Whatever your takeaway was after watching the halftime show, both ladies undoubtedly rocked the house on Sunday night.