Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
Dancing is an enchanting form of art, but sometimes it also turns into a way to jump into a cultural battle. This is what is happening right now in Iran, where women are posting several videos of themselves on Instagram, in support of a teenager who was arrested.
Maedeh Hojabri posted a video of herself on Instagram at home dancing to a Iranian/Western pop song, without the mandatory headscarf, or hijab, and she reached more than 600,000 followers.
She was arrested and together with other girls, they’ve been forced to appear on state TV and also release a confession on Friday, a tactic often used by Iranian authorities:
“It wasn’t for attracting attention, I had some followers and these videos were for them. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same … I didn’t work with a team, I received no training. I only do gymnastics.
The Iranian government has very strict rules about clothing, dancewear and dancing: having a dance with opposite sex people in public it’s allowed just between immediate members of the same family, otherwise it’s absolutely forbidden.
This event has had an immediate and very popular resonance on social media, and the hashtag #dancing_isn’t_a_crime just overcame all other trendings during these days.
Unfortunately it’s not the first time that we hear about this news from Iran. In 2014 a group was arrested for dancing to Pharrell Williams’ Happy in the streets of Tehran, meanwhile earlier this year the same happened in a Shopping Mall and for a Zumba crew.
“If you tell people anywhere in the world that 17 and 18-year-old girls are arrested for their dance, happiness and beauty on charges of spreading indecency, while child rapists and others are free, they will laugh! Because for them, it’s unbelievable!”
These are the words of Hossein Ronaghi, a blogger that commented on this sad event, and we can find the same message anywhere on Twitter, Instagram and other social networks.
The whole world is standing close to Maedeh and girls like her, showing them solidarity and support, for the courage that they have had: “the happiness of dancing will never be stopped”, that’s what everybody writes about.