By Samantha (Christian, USA)
For World Hijab Day I put on the hijab…and I haven’t taken it off!
Although I’ve been raised in a christian family I have been strongly considering reverting to Islam. One of the big parts of the change that made me stutter was wearing the hijab. It is very different for someone raised in the American culture, and different can be scary. However, when I wore the hijab I felt safe. Comfortable. Elegant. Modest. Me.
For the most part no one really acted differently towards me when I dressed up for World Hijab Day. I went shopping at one of my favorite stores that was having a big sale. I laughed and joked with the girls in the lines, the associates helped me and asked me if I was finding everything ok. The men parted when I perused the men’s section for something I could bring to my husband. Everyone was smiling, just like always. I was the only hijabi in the building, but I didn’t feel isolated. Later, an elderly man asked what I was wearing on my head. I told him it was a scarf, since that was what it was (I didn’t feel comfortable discussing the hijab with someone on a public bus, since it’s not a place you can walk away from someone being hurtful or mean). He said “ok!” and left it at that.
I’ve also received comments from individuals about how they never see people wearing head scarves for reasons other than religion. I guess because I’m white I must not be muslim? Or that I must not practice Christianity with fervor? Hum, ok…but then the comments are followed up with how nice it looks on me. I guess I’ll take a compliment when its offered. 😉
Of course, I have the benefit of living in a college town that is full of internationals, including hijabis. I wonder if hijab would yield different results in my hometown in South Carolina? I guess we will have to see, because I don’t see myself taking it off any time soon.