A Very Halal TikTok for “Peechay Hutt”

Behind-the-scenes of my halal Ms. Marvel-inspired TikTok.

The songs in the credits for Ms. Marvel so far have been awesome so far! IN the second episode, the show ends with this song “Peechay Hutt,” which I did see making its way around trendy Desi people I follow…mostly just one amazing Chicago-based makeup artist. Can you please do my makeup one day?! *CRYING* And then teach me all your tricks for my face specifically. *MORE CRYING* Not only is she an amazing MUA, she also kills the reel game.

My Halal TikTok

Anyhow, back to this song “Peechay Hutt.” It just seemed like a song that all the hip young things might gravitate towards…including making TikTok dances. Well, I thought to myself, Meena, why don’t YOU make a HALAL TikTok with this song?! What!!!!?? A “halal” TikTok, does that even exist?

It does now. Here’s my very halal Ms. Marvel TikTok using the song “Peechay Hutt.”

INSTAGRAM CAPTION: “Now that the path has opened for us, we’re here.” Brown girls are saving the world now! Back up–peechay hutt–to all those people who aren’t ready for us. South Asian-American Muslim girls have been waiting to “paint a picture” of a girl like Kamala Khan. What we’ve been “dreaming” of has finally come true, and that’s “what’s oh-so marvelous” about Ms. Marvel! #IAmKamala

Here is a very halal, if I venture to say so, TikTok in celebration of Ms. Marvel on Disney Plus. All my girls should be comfortable trying out, cuz I know that you have also been dying to jump on a cute trend and actually post it and not just share it with your mom and a few friends. #MsMarvelTikTok

The caption above features some translations “in quotes” from the song’s lyrics in Urdu. “Peechay Hutt” is the song that rolls at the credits of episode 2 of Ms. Marvel.

What is a “Halal” TikTok?

For something to be “halal,” it is deemed Islamically permissible. There are plenty of guidelines which govern a Muslim’s modesty, and one such of those is that women shouldn’t dance in public (as far as I know). So, here I am wondering about making a TikTok in which there is none of the usual in a dancing TikTok: dancing, mostly undressed women, and obscene/lewd lyrics or movements. Let’s address these in backwards order: the content of the song. From what I can tell, nothing really objectionable there, but my Urdu isn’t amazing and I can’t tell what they’re saying half the time. Two: I’m modestly dressed. Yes, my lower arms show here and there and as far as I know that is a gray area in terms of being covered or not. Third: the dancing is more just like exaggerated gestures. Pretend I’m just talking to you, but with my hands and they’re super expressive to a beat. Kind of something like the Happy Hands Club in Napoleon Dynamite

The Meaning Behind the Moves

The ehtos: Apparently the show Ms. Marvel has been getting review-bombed by a bunch of racist loons–surprise! This helped me connect with the song and part of the story I wanted to communicate through my movements. “Peechay hutt” means move backwards in Urdu, like “get out of my way!” or “back off!” It’s a bit informal and rude. So at the beginning of the story in the TikTok I am acting like I’m in a room full of haters who just don’t want me or stories like mine out there. The body language goes from uncomfortable stand-offishness to a straightforward act of force (the stop hand).

The transformation: When I stand up for myself, I am transformed into a superhero. What’s my superpower? My identity–Pakistani-American Muslim woman, child of immigrants. Thus, I wear a traditional Pakistani get-up, shalwar kamiz. Do you notice the colors are totally Ms. Marvel? I know, I’m awesome.

Kamala’s first experience with her powers: The majority of the actual “dancing” part is a parallel of what happens with Kamala when she gets her powers from the show. After the transformation, I look at my hands like say wutttt, kind of like how Kamala looks at her hands at AvengerCon and also lying on her bed in her room after her mom’s scolding.

The actually “choreographed” moves then go into what she experiences on stage: many cameras trying to get multiple shots of her with flashing lights. This also riffs off the lyrics that start off the first verse in the song, “I’ll paint a picture…” While this does not involve a paintbrush, it does involve a camera! Leets chalk it up to poetic license. Just like in the show, Kamala’s first explosion of cosmic energy comes as she’s defending herself against this paparazzi-like attack. That’s where my punch comes in.

Those are the moves. It’s pretty simple insofar as the movements mimic what happens in the show. As for the meaning, this dance and song combo state: back off, it’s time for brown girls to save the world and we’re here now so just go away if you don’t like it.

My sincerest wishes are that other Desis connecting with this show also copy this TikTok until it turns into an awesome trend. Is that too much to ask?!

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