JEDDAH – A teenage boy who was filmed dancing to 90s hit song Macarena at a street crossing in Saudi Arabia was arrested and later released from custody.
The video, which went viral on social media in the kingdom, shows the 14-year-old boy wearing head phones, grey shorts, a striped T-shirt and neon green and yellow Crocs dancing in the coastal city of Jeddah.
Jeddah boy dancing in the middle of Tahlia Street is the hero we need pic.twitter.com/fui9v2UuDF
— Ahmed Al Omran (@ahmed) August 19, 2017
He is swaying his hips and arms to the 90s hit song, smiling and giggling throughout the dance.
The state-sponsored Al-Riyadh news website quoted Col Aati bin Attiyah al-Qurashi as saying the 14-year-old Arab national was brought to police along with his father, who was asked to sign a pledge vowing to protect his son and not to violate public morals.
Al-Qurashi says the boy was then swiftly released from custody.
The teenager, whose name and nationality were not given, was being questioned because he had shown “improper public behaviour” and disrupted traffic, a police statement said.
Western music and dancing is taboo in Saudi Arabia, but such incidents in the past have not necessarily led to lengthy imprisonment or serious punishment.
Last month Saudi Arabia released without charge a woman detained after a video of her wearing a miniskirt and walking in public went viral.
Police in Saudi Arabia had arrested the young woman for wearing “immodest clothes” after an outcry from people who said she flagrantly violated the kingdom’s conservative Islamic dress code.
The young Saudi woman drew attention when the video was shared online of her walking in a historic village north of the capital wearing a miniskirt and crop top and showing her hair.
She was reportedly released without charge because the video was published without her knowledge.
Traditional dance is however permitted. Saudi King Salman and US President Donald Trump were filmed taking part in a traditional all-male Saudi sword dance in May when the president visited the kingdom to boost ties.