Shakira’s Viral Tongue Moment During Her Super Bowl Performance Was Actually A Homage To Her Heritage

Shakira's Viral Tongue Moment Was Actually A Homage To Her Heritage

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Shakira and Jennifer Lopez put on one hell of an entertaining Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday in Miami.

Many viewers even went so far as to say it was the best Super Bowl halftime show they had ever seen.

Regardless of whether people loved it or hated it (amazingly, some did), one thing is for sure, Shakira and JLo certainly got people’s attention.

From their outfits and the songs they performed to their dancing and the subtle political statement they made, the two women made a huge impression on all who watched them.

The most memorable moment, at least in terms of the amount of traction it got on social media, however, happened as Shakira was performing her iconic song “Hips Don’t Lie” when she stared into the camera and made an unusual sound with her tongue.

Almost immediately, this moment was turned into a meme by the internet.

It turns out that, according to a whole bunch of people on Twitter, what Shakira was actually doing was a celebration of her Lebanese roots.

Her paternal grandparents emigrated from Lebanon which is also one of the reasons belly dancing figures so prominently in many of Shakira’s performances.

And according to journalist Lulu Ramadan, what Shakira did with her tongue during her Super Bowl performance “is a popular Arab tradition, called zaghrouta, used to express joy in celebrations.”

Ramadan added, “In the melting pot that is Miami, you could not have picked a better Super Bowl act and this was a lovely touch.”

Others on Twitter echoed Ramadan’s explanation.

Following the performance, Shakira shared a message of thanks.

“The best birthday gift has been the support of all my fans and the most amazing and hardworking team an artist could wish for. We Latinos climbed Kilimanjaro and made history tonight and we couldn’t have done it without all of you!” she wrote on social media.

Good luck to whoever gets the honor of performing at Super Bowl LV. You’re going to need it.