Latin Arabia

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Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Dabke in Salta Argentina

Salta, Argentina is a resort town on the Argentine side of the Andes. It is in the subtropical Northwest of the country, and is famous for nearby cactus, which resemble our Arizona Saguaro.

What it is also famous for is a noticeable Arab community.

For an idea of what Salta is like in total:

The area around Salta is subtropical, arid and dry and resembles the climate of the Mideast the Arabs had left. So many Arab immigrants settled in the area.

Wikipedia: Salta

However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the arrival of Italian, Spanish and Arab immigrants, particularly Syrians and Lebanese, revived trade and agriculture all over the area while further enhancing the city’s multicultural flavor.

Notice however that much of this immigration is over a hundred years ago. We are looking at 3rd and 4th generation Argentine-born citizens. They may be monolingually Spanish now, but they kept the culture.

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Belly Dancing at Provincial Legislature

In Córdoba province Argentina, famous for its wine, and German Oktoberfest, there was an Arab Dance show in the provincial legislature.

I do not think it gets any more mainstream than this.

The like does not show up on videos for American state legislatures. That may be part of the problem.

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Arab Dancing on Iquique TV

Channel 9, in Iquique, a Pacific coastal town in the tropical North of Chile.

A Christmas show. (Remember this is the Southern Hemisphere)

They brought in a dancing troupe of young Arab-Chilean ladies for TV.

This is gauge of how respected this is. You really would not see this so often on American TV.

As a side note: This would probably draw protests from the more conservative elements of American society; but it is apparently seen as cultural in South America.

Now, clearly, these Arabs are Christians. Jihadists shoot women for dressing like that.

All that aside, most Arabs are now intermarried, and what this shows is the mainstream penetration of Arab culture in South America.

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Arab Youth in Viña del Mar

I want you to see this:

Arab Youth of Viña de Mar/Valparaiso Chile

Viña de Mar is a resort town on the Pacific with a climate similar to Los Angeles. Valparaiso is the adjacent city and a major port town.

They both have significant Arab populations.

Arabic dancing is ubiquitous in South America, and culturally equivalent to Celtic dancing in America. America has more Celts; South America more Arabs. But the cultural penetration is similar. Both have become mainstream, and now have drawn in membership from outside the original communities.

Look at the dancers. These are from middle class or wealthier families. A glance at their complexions will show that many are only partly-Arabic. Yet, this is how mainstream Arabic Dancing has become in South America.

In America, this might draw suspicion. In Chile, it draws respect, and to a degree, envy.

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