Sunday, December 6, 2009

Getting culture at the mall

On National Day, I gently complained that the UAE wasn't doing enough to make its culture accessible--at least in the form of tourist trinketry--to visitors and non-native residents.

Yesterday, I got my first bit of exposure to actual Bedouin tradition. Of course, it was in the mall.

A group of Emirati drummers had formed a drum line and were parading around the mall's central fountain. They were chanting rhythmically in Arabic. They were bobbing to the music. They were prepared to twirl canes and swords and axes, at least based on the objects stacked nearby.

It looked like this, but with fewer fake guns:

And that's really all I want. A little flash. A little dance. A little culture. I don't even care if it's at the mall--at least we could sip Barista coffee as we watched.

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