You know people are oppressed when they’re punished with 91 lashes and six months in prison for merely breaking into dance after hearing Pharrell William’s hit song “Happy.”
Yet that’s what happened in none other than Iran, which has to be one of the most unhappy states in the world. Some young Iranian men and women have been called the “Happy in Tehran” dancers for videotaping themselves grooving to William’s “Happy.”
Watch the video, and feel the infection of happiness that the song has on the young adults. Who can blame them? Dancing to “Happy” is a phenomenon that is occurring all over the world.
One woman received the 91 lashes and 12 months in prison for uploading the video to the Internet, where it made international news, The New York Times reports. But all of the punishments were suspended.
They could be carried out if the six defendants get caught doing something wrong in the next three years. Suspended sentences is a common occurrence in the Iranian judicial system.
The dancers were convicted of vulgarity and illicit relations. Public dancing is outlawed in Iran. Western influences are frowned upon, yet young people rightfully are addicted.
Iranians will have to have dance speak-easies like the U.S. had during Prohibition so youths can continue to get their groove on away from government’s efforts to keep people woefully unhappy.