The Subliminal Messages You Received as an Egyptian Child
I love coming up with theories. It’s both a blessing and a curse. I can’t control it. I see things, and I just decide to investigate. It’s probably why I majored in journalism.
Anyway, the urge to investigate came up recently when I was talking to someone about a certain childhood song. Somehow, the song explained a lot about some of the very annoying habits that most Egyptian parents have.
The song is called “Dabdouba El Tekheena”, which literally translates to “the fat bear”. it’s a song about a jumping bear. Egyptian parents just adored playing it at birthdays. They probably still do; but who knows what’s going on with this new, messed up generation? They may be spending their fifth birthdays playing candy crush on their iPads.
Anyway, this song is full of subliminal messages. Its basic function was to prepare you to endure your parents and their demands. We, of course, had no clue at the time because we were just children. The image of a jumping bear was funny to us.
Okay, the image is still funny.
So, back to the song and my strange accusations. Let me explain. Let’s take the song line by line.
“اجمل من في الحفلة مين؟ دبدوبة التخيييينة”
“Who’s the prettiest one in this party? The fat bear.”
Okay, so this doesn’t get to the subliminal messaging yet, but it’s messed up how you are basically telling a bunch of kids that a fat bear is prettier than all of them. But it’s okay; it’s not that messed up. Maybe the bear works out. Maybe it lifts.
“اللي لابسة فستان و؟ فستان و جيبونة”
“The bear that wears a dress and? A dress and a skirt.”
I struggled with the translation of the word “skirt” here. When I first wrote the post I found it extremely odd that a bear would wear a dress AND a skirt together. However, a conversation with a friend made it clear to me that the “skirt” mentioned here is the huge ass thing women wear under wedding dresses to make them insanely poofy and difficult to walk in.
Basically, this bear is a walking fashion disaster.
Whatever. Let’s get to the good part.
“نطي نطة يا دبدوبة”
“Jump once, bear.”
Okay, so now the song is giving you orders. Starting to sound like a lot of parents. But okay, what parent don’t ask their kids to do stuff? Sounds pretty normal to me.
“!دانتي تقل تقل الطوبة”
“You are as heavy as a rock!”
Wait, what? So you asked me to do something and now you’re criticizing me for not doing it correctly? I’m sorry that I’m not as light as a butterfly, but I’m a fucking bear in a dress, in case you’ve failed to notice.
“و كمان نطة”
“One more jump.”
Again? Okayyy..but you could have just told me to jump twice. I’m starting to sweat.
What? But I just…okay. Fine. Just for you, creepy-sounding dude. But seriously, last one.
“!و عشان خاطري نطي يا شيخة سبعة نطااات”
“Now, for my sake, jump seven more times!”
WHAT? Oh hell, no! Fuck you! You could have just told me to jump ten times from the beginning so that I would have been prepared! I’m a fucking bear, this shit ain’t easy! Fuck you!
And on that happy note, the song ends. Now, tell me, does this sound familiar? How many times have your parents asked you to do something and then ask for something else remarkably similar after you’ve already done the first thing? Let me venture an example:
Mother: “Sara, get me my phone!”
*Sara gets her the phone*
Mother: “Now could you also get me my wallet? I have to pay the pizza delivery guy.”
*Sara gets her the wallet*
Mother: “Oh, and please get me an apple. Make sure you wash it first!”
*Sara gets her the apple*
Mother: “Ukh, you couldn’t dry it first? The plate is all wet!”
“Sara is about to leave the room..*
Mother: “Oh, I almost forgot! We need rice. Run off to the supermarket next door and get some.”
Now, look, if that scenario doesn’t sound even remotely familiar to you, then your parents aren’t Egyptian. I’m dead serious. Look into their heritage; you might just be adopted. Google their names or something.
So what the song does is that it subconsciously prepares you to take order after order and get criticized for not doing it correctly. And the bad news is that it doesn’t just prepare you to do so with your parents; it prepares you to do so with your employers, government employees and literally every single Egyptian you have the pleasure of meeting.
So, newly married people, do me a favour: don’t make your children listen to that childhood song. Or, if you must, at least tell them straight up to fucking jump ten times. It’ll save them a lot of time and energy.
Oh, and please don’t get your young children smartphones and iPads. That’s how spoiled bitches and assholes are born.