Health officials in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are investigating Asian nurses, including some who are believed to be Filipinos, after they were seen in three YouTube videos dancing at a "mixed-gender birthday party” in a government hospital there.
In its report on Thursday, the news site Emirates 24|7 said the videos showed several male and female nurses, believed to be from the Philippines and Indonesia, who were “involved in the concert that included music and dances.”
The report said the birthday party at the King Fahd Hospital in the eastern town of Hofouf is “strictly banned at Saudi hospitals and other public facilities.”
In an interview with Sharq newspaper, Ibrahim Al Hajji, information director of the Saudi Health Department, said: “We have been instructed to open an investigation into these films to determine whether this party was really held at King Fahd Hospital.”
However, Hajji did not disclose “what measures would be taken against those involved in the party,” Emirates 24|7 said.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs did not respond to GMA News Online's requests for comment.
The videos, all posted on January 9, were titled and commented on in Arabic.
Translated into English, one of the videos from YouTube user vitamincooom
was titled “Video dance and songs of the birthday of a nurse’s health Ahsa,” where two female nurses dance around a swivel chair, in what appears to be the final round of the game “Trip to Jerusalem.”
Another video, posted by user najmksa111
, was tagged “Lack of control at King Fahd Hofuf.” It shows two pairs of female nurses dancing with their party hats on to the tune of “Mambo No. 5.”
Toward the end of the video, one of the dancing nurses was heard saying: “Nawawala na ako.”
YouTube user alrajhi007 has posted more of these videos, which were all titled “Lack of control at King Fahd Hofuf.”
One video, tagged as the 15th in a series
, shows the male and female nurses participating in what seems to be a drinking contest.
‘Respect their culture’
In an email to GMA News Online, KSA-based advocates for overseas Filipino worker (OFW) rights gave their insights on the issue.
Joseph Espiritu, who is currently in Riyadh, said there might have been a few violations because of the following:
- While one is free to celebrate your birthday with friends, he or she cannot do so in the workplace and with liquor, illegal drugs, or gambling.
- Women can dance too, but not in public and not in mixed gender crowds, especially if they’re dancing with men who are not their husbands.
Espiritu said he believes this case would be “tolerable” if the hospital’s manager or head knows about the party.
“Hindi naman maaaring hulihin at ikulong ang lahat ng nandoon. Pinakaunang hanapin diyan ay kung sino ang organizer or kung kanino nakapangalan ang bahay kung saan nagkaroon ng party, or ang head at manager kung sa work place man ito nangyari. Hindi rin makakapayag ang ospital na mawalan nang ganoong karaming nurses dahil sa pagkakamali na ‘yan,” he said.
Espiritu advised Filipinos working in KSA to respect the laws of their host country.
“Sa batas ng Saudi Arabia, ang pagsasayaw ng kahit isang lalaki na hindi mo kaano-ano ay ‘haram’ (forbidden),” he said.
Most of the videos showed women dancing with women. - VVP/YA, GMA News