27 July 2007

Kuwaiti Geisha's and Arab Fish

Last night I went to another play, حلم السمك العربي (Dreams of Arab Fish) performed by the جيل الواعي troupe. I've seen a different one of their productions a while back (I can't remember the name) but they were both pretty cool.
The play was a free-event at the Jamal AbdelNasser Park in Al-Rawdha. I thought there would be a stage set up in the middle of the park and my friend and I were willing to brave the heat to see it. We thought, based on the production we'd seen before, that it would probably be worth spending two hours in the crazy weather (and it was humid yesterday...which is quite rare in July here) and of course we felt we had to support these people who are doing something 'different' by Kuwaiti standards with their lives.

Anyway, to our relief it turns out that the production was actually being held in a small building in the park ( I wonder if a patch of yellow dried up grass with lonely looking palm trees qualifies as a park...but anyway, I digress.).

For more information about the troupe please checkout www.jeelwa3i.com

I'm always surprised by the audiences who show up at these events. They're always a mismatched sample of Kuwaitis. There were quite a few dayin people around (I guess by looks we could be considered part of that population.), then there were obviously shia'a looking people, guys in their early twenties that cannot be labeled but as Marina rangers (in reference to Marina Mall), and the girls sitting next to me.

Girls sitting next to me, if you're reading this please don't take it personally.

Ahh! The girls sitting next to me were definitely a class of their own. They were really dressed up, yeah even by Kuwait's standards! (And we were in a shack in an all but deserted park--on a humid night.) I was kind of amazed, as I always am, at the care and dedication it takes to be soo dolled up all the time. Their outifits were very matchy-matchy (the shoes were the exact shade of pink the lipstick and hair clip were...isn't that amazing!) and their faces were painted like Geisha's. Henceforth the girls' sitting next to me shall be named KG's or Kuwaiti Geisha's.

I wonder if, like Geisha's, they step into character when they have their face-paint on. (Although if last night was any judge of the character they step into...rudely chewing gum, talking on their cellphones and texting, leaving and coming back atleast three times--we had aisle seats and they were in our row...their character's are really annoying!) If war paint is supposed to make a warrior feel more powerful and dehumanize him/her--i read that somewhere--what's the KG's makeup about?

Do KG's really thing that their makeup makes them look good? Or do they really feel horrible without the makeup that even though they stop looking human with it on they still look better with it than without it? Or is a mask they hide behind? (I can keep going on forever with the philosophical/psychological questions.)

But more importantly, (since I did admit my slight admiration for them) I wonder how much money the spend on makeup--because it really can get quite expensive. Do they use the cheap eyeshadow, the huge cases with 900 colors that are probably full of carcinogens? And how does it keep from melting away in the heat..is that due to technique or product? Do they sleep with their makeup on? Do their significant others/family see them without it? How long does it take them to put it on? what happens when they need wudu'u in public? (coz taking it off always takes longer than putting it on) or do they only go out at night?

I'd love to one day interview a KG to delve into her psyche and uncover any myths. But till then I'll still chuckle every time I see one and continue to wonder.

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