Last weekend we had nice sunny weather in Belgium, and we thought to make the most of it, We planned a day trip to Ostend, a Belgian city on coastline of North Sea.
Would like to share some of my beach moments as Hijabi may be fellow Hijabis can commiserate with me:
- You look so ‘not for the beach’ with your full body covering including your head when everyone around is scarcely dressed! People look at you with a shock as if they really see what they see! Sorry to embarrass you guys! I too need to see beach sometimes 😉
- You sense the feelings in your neighbours’ frowns and stares until they give whatever blah-blah look and go back to their sun-tanning lying on the back pose.
- Your eyes constantly searching for fellow Hijabis.
- After some time you will find few hijabi birds flocking around bringing their mat/sheets closer to yours, frequently exchanging the empathizing glance and smiles.
- The wind making it difficult for the hijab to be in place and you are struggling to pull it back all the time and if you have kept your sandwich outside for few minutes it already tastes sand, you reach out to your water bottle and it is warm already.
Once you start looking at the sea and hear the sound of big joyous waves, the mesh of thoughts inside your brain gets dissolved and washed away. The sea makes an instant connection with you irrespective of who you are and what you are wearing. I tried reading a book for some time but sun was too strong to be overlooked. I decided to walk down the shore the cold water providing me relief and chill at the same time. I looked around the beach with my scanner eyes: kids playing in water, laughing and running. Few little ladies were busy making their sand castles and so engrossed in their work. There were some elderly couples walking hand in hand and contemplating life. I stood there watching the sea waves arriving and departing, thoughtless and contented.
( a child playing with waves , Belgian Coast , Ostend 8 May 2016 )
so while I was finishing off my post and it was time to choose a category I came across an already existing category ‘Hijab Awareness’ and indeed the idea behind post was creating awareness for Hijab.I used a comic sense in my post but behind the light jokes lies crude reality that people still don’t know much about Hijab and if they know they do not have very good thoughts about it, few people I crossed on the beach gave me weird looks. I might be out of place according to them or a criminal for fashion police but it’s my choice just like they have theirs , why should there be a set of rules defined of how one be dressed according to a place/occasion. One should wear whatever according to his/her comfort level , likeness and not out of social pressure to fit in .We need to have acceptance and tolerance of each other’s beliefs ,culture and life’s choices.