When I was at Wal-Mart the other night, I saw a couple of women wearing burqas, each leading a flock of kids. Okay, so the garment in question wasn’t exactly a burqa, I’m not exactly sure what to call it. It was like a headscarf with a veil across the woman’s faces, and it covered their chests and down to their torsos. I could see that they were wearing tunics and loose trousers underneath–and a burqa is from head to toe.
I saw these women from the back in the parking lot. My first thought was annoyance–their kids were between the ages of 10 and 3, and they were at Wal-Mart at 11pm on a school night. I’d seen headscarves at Wal-Mart before, and didn’t think anything of the moms–except that they had their kids out at what I thought was way too late.
It wasn’t until I saw them in the store, and saw what they were wearing that the reason for having the kids out so late became clear to me. They were at Wal-Mart as late as I was for probably the same reason I was–to avoid the crowds.
There weren’t many people there, but I saw these women getting glared at. I think I had a different take on how they were dressed than anyone else in the store. I kept thinking about how genius their garments were.
I was there as my mood was starting to head south, and I was feeling shy and withdrawn–and I was slightly jealous of these women’s clothes. You wouldn’t have to do your hair or makeup before going out (not that I do anyway) and people might stare at you, but they would just see your clothes, not YOU.
Honestly, I don’t have a problem with burqas or headscarves or anything similar. In fact, I applaud women who are devoted enough to their religion to wear such outward signs, especially in a time and a place when such garments are frowned upon by the general public.
And I want to know where I could buy one.