Sikh Soul Train

April 5, 2009 at 7:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Doing some Pre-Passover cleaning in the house I just moved into, turns out even if dirt is old, it comes off if you scrub at it enough. It’s a satisfying way to feel invested in my new space and Jewish at the same time.  As to the title, above, I had the priviledge, recently, of attending an event I believe was called “Bollywood Club Invasion” at one of the local fancy hotels. My prescence was owed to the friends crashing on my floor at my, soon to be vacated, old apartment. They knew the DJ, Miss Ginger. I was happy to go, as i’m a big Bhangra fan ; gotta love the booty shaking music.  Anyhow, the stand out feature of this festivity and inspiration for my headline was the enthusiastic dancing of the turbaned contingent dominating the dance floor. Upon approaching the entrance to the dance space, I realized this was not not just a benefit to feed the hungry as one of my dumster diving visitors had said. This was an event for Amma to feed the hungry. Hence the many non-indians in indian garb, some of whom looked dressed for a costume party, others of whom looked like they wore this every day.  In a circles, carved out of the dancing masses, those who appeared the most accustomed to the dress code were enacting a performance worthy of the most devoted dervishes.  I saw the dance I most associate with “Fiddler on the Roof” , with people squatting and jumping back and forth to the knees. Lots of big movement !!! What, in experimental theater school, when we were learning to dance like the fluids of the body, was described as being the way you dance Fascia- the lining around the cells. Big bold movements.  It was the sort of situation where I couldn’t believe people were entering the middle of the circle of their own accord, but lo, they were, and leaving it with ecstatic smiles caressing their faces. Me, I stuck to liquor as usual. Santa Fe is full of American Sikhs, with whom i’ve been fascinated since moving here. I follow them a few steps at the farmer’s market before catching myself and going back to my routine. Maybe it’s because they are as fringe as I am and I am interested consequently in their experience. Voyeuristic but in a sympathetic sense? I like seeing the blond children in turbans having breakfast across from me at Chocolate Maven. I imagine the sensation they must create when they visit India, how they must stand out in Punjab.  Here, in the ballroom full of white people wrapped in colorful saris and  shalwars, they do not stand out at all.  A black man in a turban and striped poloshirt is dancing in the middle of the circle, whirling around, limbs racing . Around him, his smiling community and me watching from the edge, thinking this is some strange amalgam. A little seventies TV, a little something verydifferent.

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