Tuesday, July 12, 2005

hey you kids, get off my lawn!

well, all i have to say to egypt is, "welcome to the modern world!"

MTM uses simple words in Egyptian Arabic that anyone can understand with only a smattering of slang. It could almost be defined as middle-class rap, with not particularly provocative content. The band fits in well with the current fad spreading throughout Cairo of trance-style roof parties, featuring sloppy, worn-out clothes and the adoption of a new dialect: Young people from good homes are using slum lingo.
oh that is priceless. "Young people from good homes are using slum lingo." who talks like that? hysterical.

basically, the article is an exceedingly clumsy attempt to understand youth culture - they should have asked a linguist and a sociologist if they really wanted not to sound more stupid than i did in my last post.

lissen on:

Two main types of partygoers can be found in Cairo in the summer, especially after exam season ends. First, there are the youngsters from the poorer neighborhoods who cannot afford to go to clubs and instead make do with hanging out with their friends on the boardwalk along the Nile until the wee hours of the night, and then there are the children of the wealthy, who cruise the crowded city streets in their fancy cars and brightly colored jeeps, wearing clothes purchased abroad or in the expensive malls of Heliopolis....

Sociologists and film critics in Egypt had difficulty explaining how such cinematically poor films - "devoid of moral content" is how they were described - could become cult movies, and their protagonists, role models. One cannot argue with results, however, and suddenly more and more wealthy teens are organizing roof parties in poor neighborhoods, the very ones depicted in those movies. According to some reports, soft drugs are an integral part of these parties.

OMG 420!!!!1!!1!

so. let's review. teens, especially rich ones, are revolting against the standards of their elders and have developed their own slang, dress and music. and they idolise counterculture thugs from the movies and TV.

well, that's never happened before in the history of the world.

the only mildly redeemable bit of this article is an interesting tidbit of information:

"When we go to a roof party - because the rooftops are the only place you can dance these days without sweating too much - we can hear three languages: regular Arabic, the boys' language and the girls' language. Perhaps that's how culture is created."

guess how the elders respond?

This creation of new culture is being opposed by the clergy, who denounce the "western dancing, wanton music and the corruption of the pure language used by the prophet."
right, because modern egyptian arabic sooooo resembles the languages spoken by the prophet. at all. do they even read the qur'ân? because qur'ânic arabic bears little resemblance to the approximately 14 (15, if you count maltese) descendants of its sister dialects that we call "modern arabic". egyptian arabic isn't even descended from "the pure language used by the prophet".

who, incidentally, was a poor man from an important city.

oh, and in case you are wondering: the 14 modern arabics are classified as "Balkh, Classical, Cypriot, Eastern Colloquial, Egyptian, Hassaniya, Judeo-Moroccan, Judeo-Tunisian, Modern Standard, Moroccan, Northeastern Colloquial, Shua, Sudanese and Western Colloquial" (Hetzron 1993, quoted in watson janet c. e. 2002: the phonology and morphology of arabic, ISBN 0-19-925759-0).

1 comment:

yukino said...

Mmm, I love it when you talk liguistics.