As I've stated before, I refuse to wear hijab out of fear. I will, however, wear hijab on occasion out of respect for all it represents to people of Islamic faith.
This opportunity arose when I was invited to a traditional style wedding on the island of Lombok. I chose to wear hijab out of respect for the bride and groom, to align with their vision on their wedding day. Just like I will wear the appropriate bridesmaid dress to my friend's wedding this summer. Just like I will expect everyone to show up dressed as flappers and gangsters to my speakeasy wedding, which will feature machine gun center pieces, and a reverend who says "I now pronounce you man and wife, see". (And you wonder why I'm not married?)
No, my speakeasy wedding wont be rooted in spirituality, but there will be kegs flowing just like prohibition. So I guess I've got that going for me. What I'm getting at is that we all have different ideals, and we should take turns respecting one another, no matter how culturally established or bizarro weird our ideals might be. Why not? Trying new things is fun!
On another day, the school asked if I wanted to teach in hijab. I responded that I did not, because I would rather teach as myself. And that was that. My Muslim friends respected me for who I am and for my decisions. They never made this suggestion again. Respect is something that goes both ways - it's a little push, a little pull, and a lot of acceptance.
Time to admit that I did not care for the hijab. Woahlly guacomole, hold the phones, stop the world - someone has stated a personal preference. Heaven forbid someone actually try something new, then form an opinion with regards to personal preference. I've got some nerve, right? OMIGERD$#@*&!&*#eYsek$@#skl:wa*@$*#esfg@&*d!!!!!!!!!
I found it to be, in MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, hot and stifling. My hair and neck were covered in sweat, and I wasn't used to the way that it felt. I did not find the hijab to be comfortable. I've heard claims that the hijab keeps you cool. Maybe this is true in arid climates, where I have no experience, or when it is made from a different kind of material. However, in the dampness and humidity of Indonesia, I did not find the hijab to be cooling at all. But what do I know, I only actually tried it, OMG KAT DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Obviously because I feel this way, I expect everyone to feel this way. Because I never advocate for critical thinking and thinking for yourself ever. If I jumped off a bridge, I expect that everyone would do the same, because as a blogger I'm automatically right about everything. Think about this tonight as you dine on fresh worms and chicken heads because I expect everyone to be just like me.
In a perfect world: If you like the hijab, wear a hijab! If you don't, don't! It's as simple as that - so long as there's respect for other choices and preferences. As for the argument whether women should wear hijab out of choice or compulsion - we're not going down that road today. As a free woman, I cannot represent those who do not have the same privilege to make their decisions. I'm not going to attempt to speak on their behalf because this is not something that I have experienced. I am simply sharing my own experience. Please, feel free to share your own!
Back to the wedding, which brought together this handsome couple. Check out that headdress, the bride looked spectacular! I was grateful for the invitation to witness their nuptials. It was a wonderful opportunity. I don't take for granted that I was able to share in this cultural experience. I wish the newlyweds plenty of joy and happiness for the rest of their lives.