Shakira's 'tongue thing' was the greatest meme to come out of Super Bowl LIV
You'd think the Monday morning after the Big Game all people would be talking about is the fact the Kansas City Chiefs went on to defeat the San Francisco 49ers by 31-20, securing their first Super Bowl victory in 50 years. But no, let's talk about Shakira's tongue.
Last night's halftime show was an absolute spectacle to behold, as Shakira and Jennifer Lopez took to the stage to perform a medley of their biggest hits, from the Colombian's 'Whenever, Wherever' and 'Hips Don't Lie' to J-Lo's 'On the Floor'.
But one particular moment got viewers' tongues wagging (and yes, pun intended).
Moments after Shakira performed a crowd surf during 'Hips Don't Lie', she looked dead into the camera and performed an ululation that many fans found baffling.
Check out the moment in the video below:
As you can imagine, fans rushed to Twitter to question the 43-year-old's tongue dance, and provided an endless supply of memes that quickly became the most entertaining part of the evening:
However, despite appearing to be a rather out of place gesture, Shakira was potentially performing a cultural tribute known as a 'zaghrouta'. As Twitter user Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria explains:
"I hate to disappoint but Shakira’s tongue expression is called zaghrouta, a way to express joy in Arab culture. It also [alludes] to the dance 'Son de Negros' at the 'Carnaval de Barranquilla' where she is from in Colombia. Now you can go back to whatever interpretation you like".
And per Arab America, they describe the ululation as: "A form of a long, wavering, high-pitched vocal sound representing trills of joy. It is produced by emitting a high pitched loud voice accompanied by a rapid back and forth movement of the tongue."
Given that Shakira's paternal grandparents were Lebanese, this makes a lot of sense. Several Twitter users also pointed out that the singer was replicating a tongue movement performed at the Carnaval in her hometown of Barranquilla.
So there you have it, Shakira was just being the cultured queen we all know her to be... or she just got carried away like I do in the bathroom mirror whenever I hear one of her songs.