I thought about writing my first week experiences as this is the most crucial week, full of reactions,responses and your own capabilities to absorb them. Luckily I started my Hijab with my new project , they were new people who never saw me before except few of them, so if someone is seeing you first time, there is hardly any point of surprises if you are with your Hijab or not, except that you are too nervous within your own self.
The next task was updating my profile pictures on facebook,whatsapp,gmail etc any social network that I was using, .I started with whatsapp , moving on to my facebook. I had different reactions from people, though I have anticipated it already but being a girl ,too sensitive and conscious makes you even more nervous.
I didn’t know that some girls were wearing Hijab as a fashion statement, they were taking it on and off as they want, so some of the reactions were “Is it just like that ? ” “Hijab fever”,”what is this look” . I am not condemning anyone here, I know they are normal reactions but just to know the psyche behind such responses that too coming from muslims , Interesting thing to share with you , My father still thinks that my profile picture is selfie taken after I prayed so I have the scarf on my head, he said to me ‘ Haan Mullani lag rahi ho dp mei’ ( You are looking like a religious teacher in your profile pic), It was so funny ! but the concept of Hijab is still not very clear to him yet , so how can I complain about the rest ?
Some were sending me messages to ask ,what is that I am wearing or what is it about my new look, I answered their curiosity and told them, It is called Hijab.I understood that they don’t know because it is not so common to wear a Hijab in India.
One of my friend blocked me from her Facebook and Watsapp without saying anything, I suspect it is because of Islamophobia and dissociating yourself from practicing muslims, forgot to mention she was a muslim :-), Don’t worry she is not from India .
Some of other reactions were a bit sarcastic – ‘Are you working in Syria, Is Belgium Islamic State,’ faced with my confrontation , they said, they were just trying to be funny.
One of my Indian colleague was so concerned that what has happened to me, Why I started to wear it, his endless questions, ‘Dont you feel hot, How will you go gym with this? , n many more ‘.He is still shocked though it is going to be a month now.
I am only mentioning these ones just to prepare your mind for these reactions, Though I had received many comments that said I look better with my Hijab, thanks to ones with their encouraging words.
Don’t be disheartened or sad with reactions of people, they will soon get used to it, don’t let the noise of outside world disturb your inner peace,You need to know that you are not doing anything wrong so why to fuss over things which are right. We live in a materialistic world where women is more of an object of display, we have been so mechanised by the system that everything that doesn’t fit to our frame of reference is seen awkwardly ,it is obvious that you will get all kind of reactions. Be patient, people who love you, especially your friends , it will not matter to them, they will accept you the way you are!