We had a family simcha this past weekend; it was a niece's bat mitzvah party...celebrated Moroccan-style. That means fabulous Sephardi music with lots of drums and nasal voices, a colorful spectrum of caftans and fez hats parading through the social hall, rose water sprinkled around, a procession of family members holding above their heads trays with sweets, nuts, coins and jewelery for the bat-mitzvah girl. The piece de resistance was when my niece was carried out on a litter, not unlike Cleopatra being carried by slaves on a canopy covered sofa. My niece was wearing a white caftan with a beautiful jeweled headpiece on her forehead, and marched around the room in circles high above the shoulders of uncles and cousins. It was like something from a MGM film from the fifties. Later, women were invited to receive henna on their palms.
I watched in wonder, thinking that technically my daughter should celebrate in the same way because I am married to a Sephardic man. Only difference...he was raised very Ashkenazic...and although these Morrocan traditions might be in his roots, it's not part of his cultural awareness and upbringing. (his brother, on the other hand, although raised the same way, is married to a Morrocan-born girl who thrives on the culture and traditions, and so, he is immersed in that style of living)
Well, while all this great music was playing, with some very upbeat tempos, my five-year-old was suddenly on the floor, lying on his back, spinning around and doing some great moves. I looked at my husband in surprise: "How does he know how to do this, how to dance like this?" He shrugged, and was equally amused.
It isn't as if my son watches American Bandstand (is that even on still, I wonder?) or Soul Train, two favorite shows of mine, while growing up. But he kept smiling and spinning and showing us and everybody "what he's got"!
When he was finally finished, I asked him how he knew how to break dance. He smiled and shrugged with an "I dunno" look. But he did know to correct me...because according to him, he wasn't break dancing, he was "crack dancing"!