Tag Archives: Newly Wed couple

Ewiha Chant (Zalghouta): Folklore Song/Gesture

Text: Ewiha Chant (Zalghouta)

Context: AH’s relationship to this piece stems from his Lebanese culture which allows him to have various experiences as he heard this song/gesture within his childhood and early adult life. His relationship relates to his connection with his aunt as she is the specific woman in his family that is in charge of leading the performance. He typically hears this chant at weddings during the dinner portion of the event or after the ceremony. Within his family, they typically use this song/gesture as a Lebanese tradition as they wish good luck to the newly wed couple. Within the tradition, self-expression is evident as yells, screams, yodeling and ululations are present. AH interprets this tradition as a good luck charm and as a sign of felicitations as his family believes that if this song/gesture is not performed, it is considered bad luck on the newly wed couple.

Analysis: The overall cultural value within this song/gesture is based on the act of ululating (zalghouta) which is practiced all over the Middle East and in some parts of Africa. Given that this act stems from Lebanese tradition, it holds cultural values within women considering this song/gesture is typically done by women given they are the only ones that can perform an ululation which is a high-pitched tongue trill. I see this gesture/song as an overall expression of happiness, joy, and celebration. Considering that I have not experienced this tradition being performed, I believe that this song/gesture during family events is a momentous moment that is filled with positive affirmations as two families conjoin together where luck, love, and unity is emitted within the atmosphere.