I walked past a parked car this afternoon from which a thumping Eurobeat soundtrack was emanating. The guy in the driver’s seat was practising his para-para moves over the top of the steering wheel.

Don’t know what para-para is? Lucky you. It’s a kind of dancing that is, to the best of my knowledge, a uniquely Japanese phenomenon.

The para-para dancer generally has hair of an artificial colour that may be blond, brown or even grey, but definitely never black. Its native habitat is a nightclub playing banging Eurobeat, as you might have inferred from my earlier observation. Most of the music seems to be Japanese, in fact, but they refer to it as Eurobeat, no doubt in dubious homage to the particularly repetitive variety of European techno from which it derives. The participants face the same way, towards a stage on which a number of dancers demonstrate the moves that they mimic. The moves involve a lot of complicated arm waving and crossing in synchronisation with the music.

It’s quite bizarre to watch; a sort of cross between the Macarena and the Nuremberg Rally.

Note: I have actually been to a para-para club.
Note 2: I have only been once.