The day it was thought that I was wearing a hijab

I clearly was not wearing a hijab, but in a Muslim culture, a head covering was almost certainly identified as such. In an effort to end the ambiguity, I...
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I clearly was not wearing a hijab, but in a Muslim culture, a head covering was almost certainly identified as such.

In an effort to end the ambiguity, I took off my cardigan, thereby exposing my arms. In so doing I thought that it would be clear that I was not attempting to wear a hijab- just simply a headscarf.

I think that made it worse.

Retracing my steps from the place of business as I made my way to the station, most people stood in shock and confusion.

They couldn’t figure it out.

And I couldn’t figure out why?

In 2015, when everyone had internet and satellite television and most Turkish people consumed quite a bit of Western media including channels like BET and MTV, I couldn’t understand why a woman wearing a headscarf not as a hijab but as a summer headscarf would attract such attention.

I had worn headscarves already, I believe. Ethnic headscarves but never a solid black one, and that is the only difference that I could attribute to getting that much attention.

I thought about it and thought about it some more.

And I’m still thinking about it.

The point is, is that I’m  not sure if I was perceived as rude; as if I were mocking the meaning of the hijab. I believe so- given the response.

But, obviously that was not my intention.

I was simply wearing a headscarf.

So, if there is fault to be given for this situation, whose is it?

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Mine, for not thinking about the implications of tying my hair in a headscarf or the people who are not au fait with the use of headscarves by non Muslim as a hair accessory and/or maintenance aid; the purposes for which I used my head scarf?

What do you think?

Photo taken and edited by Petra.

East Meets West

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Petra In The Middle East
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