Belly dance and religion

adiemus

New member
ahhh no, you've got it wrong - people say 'G*d bless' when you sneeze!

I'm curious about the sense that some people have that it's the intent with which people do actions that is important - this is possibly what Jesus was suggesting in the New Testament where he said something about looking at a woman with lust was equivalent to actually having an adulterous relationship!

In effect, the New Testament is all about having two rules: love g*d with all your heart, soul, mind and so on; and love other people to the extent you would want to be loved yourself. Not so difficult to understand is it? but probably much more difficult to do than the entire list of rules and regulations in Deuteronomy or Leviticus!

So I think that's one reason humans have managed to devise more rules and regulations that might have the outward appearance of piety, but actually are a whole lot easier to do than the intent version.

And having said this, I'll crawl back into my secular hole ... I won't be tearing up any photographs, and I still say 'bless you' when someone sneezes!
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
ahhh no, you've got it wrong - people say 'G*d bless' when you sneeze!

I'm curious about the sense that some people have that it's the intent with which people do actions that is important - this is possibly what Jesus was suggesting in the New Testament where he said something about looking at a woman with lust was equivalent to actually having an adulterous relationship!

In effect, the New Testament is all about having two rules: love g*d with all your heart, soul, mind and so on; and love other people to the extent you would want to be loved yourself. Not so difficult to understand is it? but probably much more difficult to do than the entire list of rules and regulations in Deuteronomy or Leviticus!

So I think that's one reason humans have managed to devise more rules and regulations that might have the outward appearance of piety, but actually are a whole lot easier to do than the intent version.

And having said this, I'll crawl back into my secular hole ... I won't be tearing up any photographs, and I still say 'bless you' when someone sneezes!

*hugs you*
:)

Jesus did emphasize that intentions (and the motivation of the heart) are more important than outward appearances of "religion" and piety; in fact, Jesus hated religion (and still hates it). He taught that it's our relationship to God, not rituals, that is most important. If we love God, and put Him first in our lives, and we love our fellow man as much as ourselves, our lives will fall into place. Life won't be perfect, no, but we will be happier, because we have Christ as our source of strength.

Having said that, I think this translates into bellydance. It may seem weird for a Christian to bellydance, but I believe that intent is what's important. If you're dancing to express emotion, whether it be joy, sadness, whatever, interpret the music through motion and emotion, and you convey those emotions to an audience, then you're dancing for good and...well, for lack of a better word atm, "noble" reasons. On the other side of the coin, I've seen a couple of young girls in my class, when I was a newbie beginner, who made it more than obvious that the whole reason for them taking bellydance class was not to learn and appreciate an artistic dance of another culture. They didn't take lessons for very long at all before they dropped out. :confused:
 
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lizaj

New member
It may seem weird for a Christian to bellydance,

I wonder if hat you are saying is it's weird to link the two..to claim "I am bellydancing as a Christian. " What's the connection.
Refring to the discussion on Bhuz wuh the DVD...Using belly danc to praise the Lord..mmm...now that's seems strange..as someone of a Christian background. But I have no doubt Christians might say I use my talents to express my joy in my religion.
I can't help thinking about Puritan England and their attitude to Maypoles!:lol:
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
This is an interesting thread - it's always an interesting topic. The longer I bellydance the more I am astonished at how so many people get hung up on a dance that for the most part, the only "naked" part of the body is the abdomen. (Many say it is the most beautiful but I think it is also because this is where life starts for everybody evidenced by the navel.) I agree that most religions have a problem with bellydancing. None are as controversial as this; in fact, you see any production by Bob Fosse and all of his stuff is well respected. But bare a torso and undulate and everything is up for grabs! In Biblical times, dancing was frequent in praising God. King David did it a lot and the Old Testament stated that God was pleased. What's wrong with using dance for worship when your heart is in the right place? Who says what style is right and what is wrong?

I am a Christian and I have never felt that God looked down on me because I bellydance. Why? Because I dance for the thrill of it, the beauty and the art form that it is, not to entice nor embezzle but just out of the sheer wonder of it. Over centuries, it has fascinated and dazzled people because there is something about it that is such a LIFE FORCE it has endured the longest. And yet, so many people have to conceal it because "organized religion" is against it. My personal opinion, however, is that God is not. :wall:
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
Yes, I've made the statement here before that I've seen Western-style dancers with costumes that are skimpier than the bellydance bedlah, yet they don't seem to be as frowned upon as the bedlah. I just don't get it. :think: Maybe it goes back to people's perception of bellydance. Even though bellydance has gained more respect in recent years as an art form, there are still many who equate bellydancing to exotic dancing. :(

Lizaj: I get a lot of weird looks from people who know me, and know that I am a Christian, when they find out that I also bellydance, because of what I stated above. When they finally see my troupe performances on my mp3 player or phone, and see the dances and the costumes, and hear the music, then they get it that we don't strip, perform "favors," etc., and that we dance for cultural events/fund raisers, and other "acceptable" venues. I think some people have changed their attitude about bellydance from hanging around me (anyway, let's hope so). :)
 

Kharis

New member
I am a Christian and I have never felt that God looked down on me because I bellydance.
Could it be that any dance is as much a gift to us, as all the wonders that we can take from our lives? We all vibrate to our unique rhythms. Music is vibration and we just respond naturally, and all that is natural is surely from God? Or so you'd think. So, I don't see a problem with dance, any dance, that is a celebration of life, joy and personal expression. It can, of course, be all in the eye of the beholder.
 

Anthea Kawakib

New member
Could it be that any dance is as much a gift to us, as all the wonders that we can take from our lives? We all vibrate to our unique rhythms. Music is vibration and we just respond naturally, and all that is natural is surely from God? Or so you'd think. So, I don't see a problem with dance, any dance, that is a celebration of life, joy and personal expression. It can, of course, be all in the eye of the beholder.
That's what I think as well, it's part of the vibe, but what's important is whether it's a good or bad vibe, right?
Personal opinions notwithstanding, some things are good, some things are bad. As you said, what can be wrong with a celebration of life, joy, and personal expression (of the Creative Spirit - my add) :)
 

dinavienna

New member
Diyanet, the Turkish authority with a monopoly over the interpretation of Islam in

Turkey, has publically condemned the practice of yoga in Turkey, and accused yoga teachers of endangering the souls of Muslims and of being missionaries for foreign religions:
Diyanet: Yoga İslam'a aykırı - Güncel.net

They are also making it clear they do not believe Hinduism and Buddhism should be propagated on their soil, nor are they beneficial to the souls of Muslims.

What is especially troubling about this is - Diyanet in a secular country like Turkey is a government institution. Speaking of respect for other faiths religious freedom and rights of Turks to choose their faith: In a secular state no government institution should a. favour one faith over the others, b. publically downtalk other people's faith, c. tell their citizens which faith they can or cannot choose.

I am posting this here because, as many of you know, some members of this board take discussions from here to closed forums and go on for pages how "stupid" poster X who said this and that is.

Just meant to provide proof for what I said everyone able to use google could have come up with.

I will post the full Turkish text below this for anyone interested.
Regards
Dina
 

dinavienna

New member
26-11-2008, Çarşamba
Güncel.net
Diyanet: Yoga İslam'a aykırı
Diyanet, Hinduizm ve Budizm kaynaklı olduğuna dikkat çektiği yoganın, İslam'da yeri olmadığını belirtti.
Malezya'da "Müslümanların inancını yok edebilir ve yozlaştırabilir" gerekçesiyle yasaklanan yogaya, Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı da vize vermedi. Yoganın, Hinduizm ve Budizm kaynaklı olduğuna dikkat çeken Diyanet, İslam tarafından emredilen ibadetler ve konulan prensiplerin insanın olgunlaşması ve güzel ahlak kazanması için yeterli olduğu görüşünü dile getirdi. Diyanet'e göre, "İslam dini, amaçsız, iş olsun kabilinden yapılan işleri ve sergilenen davranış şekillerini uygun görmez."

Diyanet, "İslamiyet'te yoganın yeri nedir? Bir Müslüman'ın yoga yapmasının sakıncası var mıdır?" sorusuna, Hinduizm inancında reenkarnasyona yer verilmesine gönderme yaparak şu yanıtı verdi: "İslam dini tenasüh (Ruhun, bedenin ölümünden sonra yeni bir vücuda bürünerek geri dönmesi, reenkarnasyon) fikrini reddeder. Bir ruhun farklı bedenlerde dünyaya tekrar dönüşü, ahirette ceza ve mükafat esasıyla da çelişir."


Tenasüh inancında, Kuran'ın aksine ahiret hayatına yer verilmediği de belirtilen açıklamaya özetle şöyle devam edildi: "Bu uygulama, insanları etkileyip rüyalar aleminde gezdirmeyi hedefleyen 'meditasyon' ya da 'uyutma' yönteminden farklıdır. İnsanın meditasyon yoluyla bir başkasını etkilemesi, onu uyutması, rüyalar göstermesi gayet olasıdır. Ancak İslam dini amaçsız, iş olsun kabilinden yapılan işleri ve davranış şekillerini uygun görmez."
 

Caroline_afifi

New member
I am posting this here because, as many of you know, some members of this board take discussions from here to closed forums and go on for pages how "stupid" poster X who said this and that is.

Just meant to provide proof for what I said everyone able to use google could have come up with.

I will post the full Turkish text below this for anyone interested.
Regards
Dina
The people you mention are only four people who talk to themselves, and they are ONLY active on their own forum these days (which is closed).. (apart from one who for some reason is still BHUZ which she slanders by the day along with the other 3).

Dont give a damn about them!! :dance:
 

dinavienna

New member
LOL I don't Caroline, but months ago when I read their rants about the Turkey information I had provided I thought if by chance I come across that post again I will provide a Turkish source of information. Done! :dance:

(I don't know about this forum, as I am pretty new here - but on bhuz there are 4 still active ones of that bunch and 2 rarely active ones I am aware of.)
 

Harry

Member
My stand is that I find it upsetting that there are still places in the world that, in the name of religion, are militantly intolerant of their brothers and sisters of different faiths. When all is said and done, I believe that all theistic religions (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc) pray to the same Power, whether named God, Yahweh, Allah, etc. Of course, as a Christian preacher, I would be overjoyed to see everyone move to the Christian faith, but I respect others.

The subject of Yoga, unfortunately, has become the victim of factions of all faiths that think that Yoga is some sort of religion. Not so. I believe the practice of Yoga to be as religious as going to the gym religiously (facetious pun intended), which, I don't think, is against any religion. Is it a mental and physical discipline? Certainly. So is weightlifting. So is ballet. So is belly dancing.
 

dinavienna

New member
My stand is that I find it upsetting that there are still places in the world that, in the name of religion, are militantly intolerant of their brothers and sisters of different faiths. When all is said and done, I believe that all theistic religions (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc) pray to the same Power, whether named God, Yahweh, Allah, etc. Of course, as a Christian preacher, I would be overjoyed to see everyone move to the Christian faith, but I respect others.

The subject of Yoga, unfortunately, has become the victim of factions of all faiths that think that Yoga is some sort of religion. Not so. I believe the practice of Yoga to be as religious as going to the gym religiously (facetious pun intended), which, I don't think, is against any religion. Is it a mental and physical discipline? Certainly. So is weightlifting. So is ballet. So is belly dancing.
Hi Harry!
Nice to get a religious person's point of view on yoga! :) When I practice yoga I certainly do not see it as worship. It has effects on blood circulation, flexibility, "energy flow" that even after a few lessons one feels. Not to forget flexibility which improves admirably fast without feeling like pain or extremely hard work (coming from someone who's rather inflexible).

The thing is - yoga (or rather: the exercises and routines and figures and sequences performed under the name) IS deeply rooted in Hindu faith. the only teacher I took lessons from made it clear he would not cut out this essentail part of it to please the largest possible crowd. He said he considered it a matter of respect to teach us what it is meant for originally, and he said he would chant from the Vedic scripts, and it would be our choice whether to participate or not. I must say I preferred having a teacher who knows what he's doing and saying, who respects the spiritual heritage yoga comes from, and I did not have the slightest problem with humming lines of these Vedic scripts.
I know there are many Muslims and Christians who are uncomfortable with what essentially is a polytheistic form of spirituality. An Indian priest my mother got to know through asylum seeker charity will not cease telling her I may do yoga for the physical benefits (like easing of backpain), but should be very careful with the heathen parts of it. I have great respect for it no matter what Muslim or Christian authorities think of it though.
 
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dinavienna

New member
Needless to say most yoga courses may not contain this specific Hindu spiritual exercise.. as I said, I prefer the non-alienated version. this is where it comes from, and I do not think I turn Hindu when doing so. Plus, if I wanted to become Hindu I see nothing wrong with that in the first place! (at least nothing authorities should have the slightest word in)
 

dinavienna

New member
I've been living in Turkey for 7-8 years, and I hear this crap for the 1st time, honestly. And we have many yoga workshops here. Especially in Isnatbul it's smth like a national craze. And I used to attend yoga courses for 3-4 yrars.
I don't know who forbade yoga here( because myself I haven't heared of it), but seems like noone listens. LOL:dance:
"This crap" can be read in the Turkish newspaper link I provided.
Googling "Diyanet" (which you will know is the state institution for Sunni Islam funding all mosques, appointing and remunerating all imams in Turkey, and determining the interpretation prevalent in Turkey as well as clarifying what imams may or may not preach) and "yoga" would have enlightened you!
 

dinavienna

New member
True Gypsy, Turkey is the last place that I would think of that would outlaw yoga classes. They are a very moderate country from what i hear:)
Link provided. They did not outlaw it - the state authority on religion publically gave the interpretation of yoga being harmful and to be discouraged from an Islamic point of view. That is as if the US had a Ministry for Catholicism, and this Ministry would discourage yoga (and thus insult Hindus with saying as their dangerous teachings of soul wandering are a threat to Catholics in the US, and better stop their missionary action on US soil)... quite unimaginable for the US, right? And the US is not a secular Republic - Turkey officially is (with many flaws, as the mere existence of Diyanet, its funding of Sunni mosques only, but not of Alevite prayer houses or Christian churches shows).
 
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