Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Those Headcoverings

(photos in slide show are from Getty Images)

I started the blog, "Those Headcoverings" here at blogspot, to help to educate, to alert and to encourage.

Education - When I started studying about headcoverings, I wanted to find out what I could about them, and searching could sometimes be difficult. One of the most fascinating things that I found, was that head covering by women really is an across time and culture "phenomenon", and a choice made by many people for many different reasons. I eventually categorized those reasons into religious (Christian, Jewish and Muslim women, in particular, but also for men), for health reasons (preventative, as well as for those with cancer or other hair loss), and the wonderful world of headscarf fashion. Since I've added the Feedjit widgit to my blog, I have been able to see how people found my blog, when they came from a search for something, and often others are searching for the same things that I was - all falling into the above categories and including how to make or tie up a headcovering, or where to buy one, and the history of head coverings of various places.

I knew that for many, especially those with slow dial-up(!), difficulties can stall or even stop searches. And that is discouraging, especially when there are many search entries that use the same words (such as veiling or covering) that can mean something else. Hopefully, having categories of news and blogs in one place will make a search a little easier, and jump start even more ideas.

Alert: With education comes the persuasive edge, to alert others to what is going on in the world. In other countries, people are forced against their will and knowledge to either wear or not wear a head covering. Sometimes they are ridiculed, persecuted, or misrepresented by the media. It is my hope, that as the world "grows smaller" due to the internet and world news, that people will come to better understand one another. It may be a dim hope, considering how people are people, but I hope that those who stop by here would be moved to think further of how significant their actions are.

Encourage: I truly hope to encourage others by making them aware of the simple, quiet blogs, where women have written of the reasons they chose to cover, their difficulties and joys as they went through a change in life style, and sometimes sharing the way that they wear a headcovering. They have all encouraged me - from the young women who began covering in a place where no one else did or understood, to the women who grew up in communities where everyone covered. In this simple act of obedience and respect, without even much of a word (though we wouldn't know unless she wrote the words down), we can be won over to a humble, honourable and beautiful Way of life.

I really don't have the time to continue doing as much work as I have been on this little hobby of mine, especially as the summer comes to an end, and I must get back to teaching on a much wider variety of subjects. I will keep up from time to time. I do hope that those of you who stop by this blog will continue to make use of the webpages that I created and modified at googlepages: "ThoseHeadcoverings" (also linked in the upper right). Please continue studying and praying about your personal decision. Know what you believe, and if you are unsure, ask for help to understand. Continue learning about other cultures and lifestyles so that you can make wise decisions regarding your treatment of others. I personally have come to consider many headcover-ers "kindred spirits" - though we may not agree on other things of the Spirit. I stand up with those who are misunderstood merely because they have that headcovering on, and I encourage them to keep on doing what they understand to be good and right.

Headcoverings are not an oppresive burden; they are as unique as a woman's skirt, as personal as her faith, and as liberating as the difference between men and women. They can be as beautiful or as ugly as our inner spirits show them to be. I pray that whether you wear scarf, mantilla, hat, turban, hijab, cap, bonnet, or wide headband - others will see its beauty because of the beautiful head that it is worn on.
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