Ululation Around the World

Over the month of September, SAFM had some really interesting stories relating to Heritage Month. Last Saturday morning they had a brief interview regarding ululation and its history.

Growing up in South Africa, especially in KZN (which according to the interviewee has the most talented ululaters!) we are very used to hearing that high pitched song of sorts that’s so synonymous with celebration in our country. But what we may not know is that the practice of ululation is spread across the world, with people as far as the Middle East and Spain using this unique sound to show their joy and mark important cultural moments.

In South Africa, ululating is used by women (and some men) to give praise at weddings, celebrations and when good news has been delivered at a gathering. In some Middle Eastern Jewish communities people will ululate during circumcisions, with this practice even having been accepted amongst portions of the American Jewish community. Ululation is also widely practiced in eastern parts of India with women adding to the ambiance of Hindu temple rituals, festivals and celebrations.

So even though we may see it as part of ‘our’ culture, it would seem that ululation, like so many practices, is something that is shared by people all across the globe.

Click here to find about more about ululation and its difference forms of practice.

Photo courtesy of herhands.com.


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