Because an ethnic group is sort of like a big family, right?
One time I was talking to a friend of mine from another ethnic group and he told me a big secret about them, but he made me promise that I change some of the details, so that Americans would not find out about his group and look down on them. So I have. I’ll call this ethnic group the Q-ians. They come from a country called Q — I won’t say if it is in Europe or Asia. It is a very old country, it has been conquered numerous times, and at two times in its history had a medium-sized empire. In the modern era it has experienced something of a successful diaspora, and has had somewhere between zero and ten Nobel prize winners in science and literature.
The dark secret of the Q-ians, which they are both very ashamed of and very proud of, is that their primary sexual excitement does not come from their relationships with their wives and husbands, which are actually more like a combination of what we call “f-buddies” and a way of raising the next generation. Their primary eroticism is expressed in midnight dances. All the Qians will gather in a house and dance. They have a dance of hate,a dance of fear, a dance of shame, a dance of love. These dances become more and more wild as the evening progresses. Juices are guzzled, clothes are shed, vatic poetry is channeled down from heaven, people have shaking spells and sometimes baking spells, creating huge cakes of symbolic tastes, doors opening, a guy jumping out, wearing a mystical hat that is torn to pieces, etc. Finally and sometimes the dances in the old country could take two or three years everybody sinks down exhausted, then goes back to their jobs — stock-broker, souvenir-salesman, nurse, and the numinous hang-over of the dance adds a color to their lives, dark, light, but always enlivening.
I promised as I said to change certain details of this secret so as not to blow their family’s cover. Obviously, it’s not really a dance.