- Title: HUNGARY: Belly dancers show off their moves at a competition
- Date: 18th May 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) JAHROMI AFI, PRESIDENT OF JUDGES AND ORGANISER OF THE COMPETITION, SAYING: "Everything that a Hungarian woman loves is in this dance: the music, the magic, the meditation. And also because of history; the Turks were here for 150 years so it must have had an impact." VARIOUS OF DANCERS PREPARING IN DRESSING ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) DANCER, NIKOLETT DANO SAYING: "I think it's a very nice thing that a European woman can become part of an Arab culture in this way with dancing." DANCER WRITING HER NUMBER ON HER ARM VARIOUS OF DANCER GRETA ANNA ZOLYOMI COMBING HER HAIR (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) DANCER, GRETA ANNA ZOLYOMI SAYING: "From the moment I started belly dancing I became more and more interested in the Oriental culture. I began to learn Persian, I am very interested in the letters and the whole culture captures me and I began to read about it more and more."
- Embargoed: 2nd June 2010 13:00
- Location: Hungary
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAAJNBN4Q0IOJ2RK8DPDGRL3Q7P
- Story Text: Contestants gathered from all over Hungary to take part in the ninth annual Miss Belly Dance Hungary competition. The dancers represent the best of the more than 4,500 people, mostly women, who practice belly dancing in Hungary.
Hungarian women seem particularly talented in belly dancing, with many of them winning several second or third prizes at the international competitions in Cairo, Egypt. This year, one of the contestant won 2nd place at the Nile Group competition in Cairo.
The popularity of belly dancing in Hungary is growing every year with new belly dance clubs popping up in towns across the country.
"Everything that a Hungarian woman loves is in this dance: the music, the magic, the meditation. And also because of history; the Turks were here for 150 years so it must have had an impact," organiser of the event, Jahromi Afi said.
The competition began with groups of three women dancing to a wide range of music, both traditional and modern.
Originally, belly dancing was not meant to be a stage art. Instead, for centuries Oriental women used to dance among themselves, and the knowledge of the movements was passed from mother to daughter. The dance was designed to make the female body flexible and strong.
Today's women find belly dancing can help them gain self-confidence and express their womanhood, according to the dancers of the competition.
The contestants also said that they felt they could become part of the Oriental culture through belly dancing and it meant a lot to them.
"I think it's a very nice thing that a European woman can become part of an Arab culture in this way with dancing," dancer Nikolett Dano said.
"From the moment I started belly dancing, I became more and more interested in the Oriental culture. I began to learn Persian, I am very interested in the letters and the whole culture interests me, and I began to read about it more and more," dancer Greta Anna Zolyomi said.
Event organiser, Jahromi Afi agreed that their dance helps to promote Middle Eastern culture in Hungary.
"The good thing about this is that these girls embrace the good part of our culture, and with each tradition there's good and bad, and we'd like to share our good Middle Eastern traditions with the rest of Europe," Afi said.
The international judges selected four finalists from among the contestants. The finalist who had the best chance of winning was Anett Kecskemeti who won second place in Cairo earlier this year. For her, belly dancing is everything in life as she not only dances but also teaches the art form across the country.
"Oriental culture means a lot to me. Many people have said to me that I must have been born elsewhere and imported over here," Kecskemeti said.
She did indeed win the judges over with a combination of strong techniques and harmony of movements.
Her prize is a million Forint (4,466 U.S dollars) worth contract for belly dancing in the Persian Shiraz restaurant in Budapest, - organising sponsor of the competition, and a chance to participate in more upcoming international competitions.
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