„This is dirty dancing, Kabul style.”

„Then the music changes and the dancing becomes more suggestive. The groom’s sisters pump their hips and draw their hands across their faces as if feigning sexual ecstasy. […] And then all the women join the sisters on the dance floor; I am included—the woman with the rhinestone headdress and her friends insist. There, I’m surrounded by the kind of dancing I would never have expected from these women who dart down the city streets—when they go out at all—draped in dark colors with their eyes down. This is dirty dancing, Kabul style: they shimmy, they shake, they arch their backs and thrust their hips. The ones with long hair whip it around, drape it over their faces, then lift it to reveal parted lips and smoldering eyes. They snake their arms behind their backs, to the sides, over their heads, and their hands move as if they’re stroking imaginary lovers. They dance together and then break apart, but when they’re together they move their hands along the sides of one anothers’ bodies, sink to the floor, and sway back up again, grazing cheeks, arms, hips. And then I peer into the crowd, startled: I notice that there are men on the women’s side of the room, holding them around the waist, spinning them, and pressing their hips against them. I wonder if the police will storm the room and drag them off for sexual mingling. But then I realize that they’re not men but women dressed as men, acting as men, standing in for men.”

Kabul Beauty School, de Deborah Rodriguez


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