“There’s dabke, it’s a really cultural thing where everybody holds hands in a large line, and there’s steps. Like a really simple one is a step to the right, a step to the right, and then a kick, and everyone does those together, so it’s like a large of people who that are kind of like holding, and jumping up and down. Also, I don’t know what it’s called in English or Arabic, but essentially, there’s a LALALALALA [higher pitched las] and the girls do that, it’s like a celebratory thing. So when they do something that’s really happy like “Oh my son came back from the war,” or “Oh we’re getting married,” like yeah, they do this really high pitch LALALALALA and it takes skill to do it, but yeah women do that and it’s like a really old school way of being happy.”
I unfortunately did not witness either of these live, but these musical traditions are nice ways to embrace community. Dancing is usually an easy way to get a group of people together and have fun, and for dabke especially, holding hands in a line and jumping up and down together is a direct way to celebrate together and spread the energy. The high pitched “lalalas” are also like loud crying calls to celebrate, and it’s interesting that the women are mainly responsible for this. This may be because the men are at war or are put to more “serious work” and can’t be bothered with lala-ing, or just due to the natural higher pitch of the women’s voices. In either case, dancing and singing are possibly the most basic traditional forms of celebrating.