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First Gangnam Style-Lungi Style Flash Mob Hits the Streets of Jackson Heights

He-e-e-e-ey sexy lungi!

By Nadia Q. Ahmad

The pedestrian plaza outside of Kabab King in Jackson Heights was relatively empty on Monday afternoon—it was a chilly, gray Columbus Day—save for some passersby and a few people sitting outside sipping on warm chaa. But if you looked closely, you might have noticed an occasional group of teens and students hanging around or pacing slowly across, looking over their shoulders, checking their phones, and talking in concerned but excited voices. As if expecting something.

They were here for the first ever Gangnam Style flash mob in Jackson Heights. “Gangnam Style-Lungi Style,” to be exact.

The official Bengali Memes YouTube video of the flash mob was released late last night. Watch it here:

The event was organized by the administrators of the Bengali Memes Facebook page. Habibi Express, a local dance group, helped to choreograph. The idea came in response to a similar Gangnam Style flashmob that happened in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. “We were like, ‘They can’t be ahead of us like that!” said one of the organizers, and so they decided to have one of their own—decked out in the familiar striped and madras check patterns of lungis, which are traditional skirt-like garments worn by Bangladeshi men. Why Jackson Heights? “Because it smells like curry!”

Around 5:15 p.m., cheers erupted as the faint pulse of PSY’s insanely popular beats filled the plaza. The crowd pushed closer in, and clapped along. The dancers shouted as they moved, “He-e-e-e-ey sexy lungi!”—and never missed a step. And when two kids egged them mid-performance, that didn’t stop them either.

“It was good! [There was] a lot of mixing the two cultures together,” said Caroline, 17, an audience member. “And the egg situation could not be avoided. It was definitely an outside person [who did that].” (It was never confirmed who exactly threw the eggs.)

The organizers were also happy with the results. Of course, their choice of dress added a nice Bengali touch. When asked if any of them stole their fathers’ lungis in order to do this, one grinned. “Yeah! My dad’s not gonna dance in his lungi! So why don’t I do it?”

Read more about gangnam style here.