01 March 2013 3:55 pm | | 12

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Tunisians gather Friday in front of Ministry of Education to perform the “Harlem Shake”

Despite rainy weather, hundreds of Tunisians did the “Harlem Shake” in front of the Ministry of Education Friday, protesting a recent call by the minister for the investigation of students who performed the dance at a suburban Tunis high school.

A crowd began to gather around 3 p.m., answering a Facebook call to perform the dance.

The head of the local police station interrupted briefly to ask who was organizing the gathering. When no one answered him, he left, only to have two police cars take his place patrolling the area.

Prompted by a pre-arranged signal, a young girl started dancing before the rest of the crowd joined in.

“We are here to protest the decision of the minister who … chose to punish the school staff and pupils over a dance,” said Asma ben Moussa, one of the student organizers.

Friday’s performance was not your usual “Harlem Shake.” The crowd chanted the Tunisian national anthem and phrases such as “Do the Harlem Shake” and “Freedom, Freedom” as passers-by cheered them on.

“We are here today to express our solidarity with the students, who might risk severe punishment because of a dance,” said Amal, a student at the event. “They only danced after all, and dancing is a form of expression. It is a way to express ourselves outside of all the political events happening in the country.”

“Everyone dances. What is the problem?” agreed Ahmed, another student. “Why didn’t they go arrest or threaten the people, who dance in weddings? These pupils did not interrupt classes to dance. They organized their event outside of school hours.”

The Minister of Education announced earlier this week that he would launch an investigation into a Harlem Shake that took place Saturday at Imam Moslem high school; he said the event showed disrespect for the educational environment.

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Comments (12)

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  1. pauli says:

    This is a powerful thing .

  2. This makes me want to visit Tunisia even more than ever. I love it.~~

  3. How wonderful to kids being kids and people feeling free to comment about it. Just proves that kids are the same the world over and that we are all a big ‘family of man’, each with their own ideas, ideals and beliefs but still hand in hand with humanity. Tunisia is a wonderful country and so full of life, love, history, and greatness. I LOVE IT.

  4. Publicola says:

    @ April, @ mark

    d’accord ! – as you correctly emphasize:
    it’s just “joie de vivre” of young people, of adolescents,
    and it’s a pity and shame,
    that some of the adult world seem to have profoundly forgotten,
    that and how they once had been young themselves,
    and what it is like to be young

  5. April says:

    @ Publicola…now that’s funny! And true…and partly why some have a backwards mentality in Tunisia and prefer dancing at weddings and such where women of all ages seductively shake their hips in large groups but ids dancing is seen as offensive. Open your eyes! Let them dance…and stop being ignorant!

  6. Latifa says:

    am so proud of our wise tunisian youth. It is so good to see them simulating sexual acts of buggery and anal sex. It gives us all hope for the future.

    • Publicola says:

      @ Latifa – you obviously had already been 60 years old, when you were born.

    • mark says:

      ooooo if thats true where did they learn it from….Odd that your mind goes to those places…..let them have a good time…as Apil said it happens at weddings…..but also in night clubs and bordello’s. If your married it must have happened at your wedding too. This is clearly an over reaction by some idiot minister who is going to have to back off since the young people want fun and why should they not have it….laughter is good medicine….

  7. mark says:

    Absolutely fantastic….gotto love the young people…..lets hope the miserable adults who want to punish them get to shaking themselves

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