Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Question for 52 Degrees…

I commend the young founders of 52 Degrees for establishing a legitimate, creative outlet for Kuwaiti talents. From trend savvy clothing and accessories designers to writers, artists and architects, the all-Kuwaiti company is the ultimate outlet as well as sponsor for skilled and talented individuals.

During my first visit there, I was given a brief tour of 52 Degrees’ showroom in Al-Tilal. Although it needed major de-cluttering and better lighting so one can see the products clearly, I appreciate the thought behind the showroom’s industrial layout and design. When I asked my tour guide about the reason behind the name, he said, “When temperatures in Kuwait go over 50 – 51 degrees Celsius, it’s illegal for anyone to work. This specifically pertains to construction workers, street cleaners and other laborers whose time on the job is spent outdoors.”

Now everyone is aware of the fact that this so-called law is not enforced in Kuwait. Sometimes, Kuwait’s temperature is censored so that workers would continue moiling and toiling under the hot sun. It is of no surprise that Kuwait had its share of workers who have suffered and died from heat stroke and dehydration.

My question to 52 Degrees is the following: If your company name is directly linked to the legality of working under unbearably hot temperatures, do you plan on justifying your name – literally and figuratively – by bettering the working conditions of blue collared workers through raising awareness and/or doing volunteer work?

Download MP3's...

Blackfoot - Diary of a Working Man

Bruce Springsteen - Working on the Highway

Styx - Blue Collar Man

Rush - Working Man

Sam Cooke - Chain Gang

at 8:30 AM 4 comments

Monday, February 07, 2011

Erzulie Goes to Zumba

You should so come! It’s so much fun!” That was the only thing my friends said about Zumba, the Latin-inspired dance fitness program that quickly gaining popularity here in Kuwait. “Trust me Erzulie, you’ll work up a sweat,” another friend said. I eventually gave in; I didn’t mind trying something new and it would be nice to know first-hand what the fuss was about.

My friend and I walked into the large workout room in a building in Salmiya two minutes before the class started. The place was packed. There were girls of all ages and sizes. Since I never worked out with a group before, I timidly scurried to the back of the room. Suddenly, the loud music started and I heard a woman yell in a high-pitched voice, “Yeahhh! Yeahhh! Come on! YeaaaAAAHHHH!” I peeked between the rows of girls and saw the leader of the pack, a toned woman with curly black hair clapping and cheering the crowd on as they mimicked her moves. “Follow me, I know what she’s doing,” a sweet girl in front of me said when she noticed me doing the two-step and waving my arms around awkwardly. I ended up watching the girl’s moves but I could not help but notice my friend who was two rows in front of me do the moves herself. That’s when I got the giggles. Call it nervous laughter, but I could not stop laughing whenever I saw my friend doing the moves! I tried to hide my tears because I was the only one laughing (hey it was my first time!) I eventually got the hang of it but couldn’t quite enjoy the whole experience, especially because I compared myself to the experienced girls and saw that I have no coordination skills whatsoever. Plus, some of the moves were a bit explicit; I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable thrusting my hips and wiggling around in a roomful of people. The Zumba leader was like an energizer bunny who literally did not stop moving or encouraging us to push ourselves. Before the last song came on, I slipped outside and sat there waiting for my friend to finish.

“Why didn’t you enjoy it! It’s a lot of fun and I lost 5 kilos ever since I joined!” an avid-Zumba friend of mine said. While I’m glad that she’s loving her sessions there, I came to realize that I’m not one to involve anyone with my workout, “It’s just not for me,” I told my friend, “I think I like to workout alone, with my music and no one and nothing else.” I found the whole experience interesting but a bit distracting. Maybe it was because it was my first time, but I just didn’t feel it. Although my arms and legs were sore the next day, I think I preferred them to be sore from an hour-long run and 200 push-ups.

“How was Bumba Bumba?” my husband asked when I came back home. I smiled and didn’t bother to correct him because it sounded like such a cuter name. I shrugged and said, “It was all right, but I can’t wait until we renew our gym membership.”

Some Zumba songs for you...

Daddy Yankee Ft. Andy Montañez – Sabor A Melao

Don Omar Ft. Lucenzo - Danza Kuduro

Wisin & Yandel – El Telefono

at 8:30 AM 8 comments