Day 20~ February 20th~ Lebanon

veiled~ muslim girl in Tripoli

In a geographically small country like Lebanon, people of different religions live side by side. It is so difficult to explain how religions, tradition, cultural norms, rules, and social order organize themselves there. Within each religion are sects, groups, different belief systems, different dress codes and different tolerances.

Having been born to a christian family, the only veils I saw in my village were worn by older aunts and grandmothers who wore them in the church out of respect or from self imposed reverence. With some of our muslim neighbors, the veil was imposed on girls as they reached puberty and it was mandatory.

The veil has become a very hot global issue in the last decade and attached to it is the idea of freedom of choice or the lack of, feminism or living in the shadow of men, a religious statement or a political one and it goes on even to the courts of Europe that had to deal with the issue outside of the muslim world.

The veil originally was only worn by the wives of the prophet Mohammed, and was only much later introduced as a symbol of conformity to a strict religious belief.

veils are not work by muslim girls until puberty

 

Day Forty Seven, March 10, 2011

If you have to do it, do it in style!

Yes, the Shanghainese still sport pajamas in the street.

It is mostly the older generations, but wearing sleepwear outdoors is still a wide custom and is seen on a daily basis around city streets. The reasons, when you investigate, vary from the fact of people sharing bathrooms outside their homes with other families, to comfort, to the cheap price of the garments, to simple cultural tradition. Bit I love seeing it, because for me it makes Shanghai what it is, especially when I see ladies with their high heels, bags and perfectly styled hair and makeup walk down the street in their pajamas, like this lady in my neighborhood today!