Friday, June 30, 2006

From Lebanon 20

The Sahsouh.

The Sahsouh is a ritual performed on a male who's showing off a freshly cut head of hair.
It aims at restoring a feeling of warmth to a recently-shaved, cold, and naked neck through a severe blow from the palm of a hand. The Sahsouh is always accompanied with the word "Naeeman" which you'd think means "Die motherfucker!" but is actually part of hair cuttery pleasantries.

There are no documented cases of paralysis caused by a Sahsouh, but any look around town shows that brain damage is clearly widespread.

Everytime we try to shed the image of violence associated with our culture, something like a Sahsouh comes up and pushes us back to square one.
It is an act performed by people of all ages that are close to the hair styled person. By close I mean that they know his name and/or are within striking range.

Sometimes a Sahsouh is preceded by the Sahsouh jingle that is meant to help you prepare mentally for the inevitable moment of contact.

So the next time you see a man sporting a hairy neck in Lebanon, know that it is not a grooming mishap but rather a defense mechanism to save his neck. I'm not sure if the same criteria works for other body parts.

The Sahsouh; yet another proud tradition from the hairy homeland.


linalone said...

Fascinating! It's always the impression I have when reading your posts. You should have some chronicle in a newspaper or magazine(akid iza fi chi wazife cheghra w iza fi endak wasta w iza 3ajabet el moudir w iza w iza w iza...).

Sietske in Beiroet said...

You're funny.

Sietske in Beiroet said...

Very funny, actually.

Zanzounito said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

lebanese people r so entertaining...

AbdulKarim said...

Wait let me dry my tears..Oh God, oh dear lollll... Jamal that's your most hilarious post till now. Its very difficult to beat this one ... Speaking of viloence and sahsouh, how about the game "sanam". I think you can make a post on that as well.

أمل said...

I guess the jingle is

اذا مررت بعنق مفتوح فلا تبخل عليه بسحسوح


Managed again to make me laugh ... so funny indeed :))

Kata said...

Hey Jamal, if you can't find a job, why don't you make yourself one? This may be a totally ridiculous idea but really, is anything that ridiculous in Lebanon?
You seem to have a pretty steady stream of good ideas to write about and lots of positive feedback from readers. Why don't you contact english speaking Lebanese/middle-eastern newspapers/magazines and see if there's a possibility for you to have a regular column/article in them. You know, like the lighter-side kinda thang. Use your blog as showcase material.
Unless you want to actually be a practicing engineer that is...