Samer: Luminous Tapestry Weaving Jordanian Joy

(MENAFN- Jordan News Agency)

Karak, May 31 (Petra) -- In the vibrant tapestry of Jordanian culture, the Samer stands tall as a radiant emblem of joyous expression. From the depths of Jordanian folklore, it emerges as a resplendent celebration, particularly embraced during weddings, where the bonds of kinship and friendship intertwine.
The year 2018 witnessed the enchanting melodies of the Jordanian Samer being embraced by UNESCO, as it found its rightful place among the intangible cultural heritage of Jordan. Alongside the Samer, other artistic forms, like the Shorouqi serenading the rababa and the Hijaini, contribute their own hues to this rich and diverse cultural mosaic.
As we delve deeper into its origins, we uncover the essence of the Samer. Youssef Habbashneh, a heritage researcher, reveals that the term "Samer" draws its life force from the enchanting nights of "Al-Samar Al-Layli," where it unfurls its splendor, especially in the realm of matrimonial jubilation. This art form, predominantly entrusted to the hands of men, resonates with various appellations, including "Al-Dhaha," "Al-Dhahyah," or "Al-Suhjah."
A central element within the Samer is the enchanting repetition of the word "Dhahyah" harmonized with the rhythmic clapping of hands, evoking the formation of a sacred circle, binding hearts and spirits.
With each step, the secrets of the Samer's structure are revealed. It commences with a steadfast alignment of men, standing tall in a straight line. As the melodious chants reach their crescendo, a symphony of voices rise, and in unison, they proclaim "Dhahyah," bending their knees in a mesmerizing rhythm. In response, the two ends of the straight line begin to turn, gracefully converging, creating an exquisite arc akin to a celestial half-circle.
Yet, the Samer yearns for further illumination. A figure emerges, a conductor of movements, wielding a supple cane, crafted delicately from bamboo. He glides back and forth, a dance of balance between right and left, mirroring the fluidity of the men's formation. His presence never still, forever in motion, orchestrating the seamless harmony of the line. And there stands the "Hashi," the guardian, armed with her cane, ensuring harmony prevails within the sacred circle. In bygone eras, she donned a veil, concealing her visage, her sword an emblem of strength.
In this melodic tapestry, women find their voice, their presence revered in the realm of the Samer's embrace. Thiqleh Ja'afarah, wise with her eighty years, reminds us of their significance as they become essential partners in the dance of Samer and Dhahyah. Their voices soar, erupting into ululations, an ethereal homage to those celebrated through song.
And at times, a veiled woman emerges, her cloak enveloping her being, leaving only her eyes to glimpse the world. In her hands, she holds a sword or cane, a symbol of her role. When she pauses, the Samer ignites, illuminating the hearts of those who partake.
Through the passage of time, the Samer remains a steadfast custodian of heritage, an enduring testament to the spirit of joy and unity cherished by Jordanians. Passed from generation to generation, this living art form continues to captivate, as its vibrant threads interweave the tapestry of Jordanian cultural expression.


Jordan News Agency

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