Last July, Gangnam Style swept the world as a strange phenomenon. In Yemen, the song was heard blasting from rooftops, cafes, cars and ceremonies. Local, regional and international press even covered Yemeni’s fascination with this song. Six months after Gangnam Style was uploaded on youtube, Yemenis began making their own version of the music video. At least 12 “Yemeni Gangnam Style” videos have been uploaded on Youtube. Some are choreographed and filmed with HD cameras, others are home style phone videos.
Here is La Voix du Yémen’s selection :
“Yemeni Gangnam Style” was the first Yemeni version of the video. Uploaded on January 23, 2013 and set in the capital’s old city, it was viewed 242,378 times. The dichotomy between the city’s centuries old buildings and the 21st century song is a striking reminder of the globalized world we live in.
Another video uploaded two months later from the Southern region of Hadramout has reached 1,239,971 views and nearly 6000 likes. Bo Hadram Styleshows men wearing ma’awaz (traditional male Yemeni gowns) with beautiful scenery from the region.
The dancing sensation also reached weddings. During a traditional Sana’ani dance at a wedding, one man was reminded of Gangnam Style, and felt compelled to tell the world not to confuse it with traditional Yemeni dance in “It’s not Gangnam Style, it’s Yemeni style”. He is not the only one to remember Gangnam Style during such an important event. In fact, during the height of the song’s popularity some young brides played Gangnam Style as their main wedding procession song replacing the traditional music.
Political satire was also infected by the Gangnam Style virus. This video shows former President Ali Abdullah Saleh dancing to the song.
Not only were adults obsessed with this song, but also children. Here is one child dancing to the song, with the presumed encouragement of the parent filming who named the video “Ismail’s Gangnam Style”.Français
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