Women in Snowsuits

by francine Hardaway on June 4, 2007

Yesterday we visited sites of interest to tourists in Penang. Mostly temples. Mostly Buddhist. And one awesome Chinese restaurant. I will say this: it’s strange seeing women in full burkas when the temperature is 85 degrees and humid and we’re at the beach. Depending on where they are from, some of them look like –as one of our fellow travelers puts it — women in snowsuits– or Sisters of Laura Ashley when the burkas are pastel. But if they are Saudis, it’s serious: the burkas a black. and the faces are covered completely. I just wonder how I would have done in a Muslim society; probably not well. It makes me realize how little understanding we have of Muslim culture that this all looks so strange and illogical to us, when it clearly has meaning for the people who are doing it.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Alvin June 5, 2007 at 7:34 am

It’s really interesting how global business trends, or in your case, tourism, bring opportunities for us to come face-to-face with stark social and cultural differences in other lands. It’s interesting to hear you ponder about women wearing burkas in hot weather. I watch your post and ponder vicariously how I’d react if I were there.

Steven Groves June 5, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Nice work Francine – is the talking head all we get? Show us what your seeing!

LJ June 5, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Hello Francine, its me LJ. I’m jjust checking your blogs and thought that they were quite interesting… although I think it would be a little cool to be seeing a senery with your commentary. Love LJ

francine hardaway June 5, 2007 at 6:38 pm

1)Alvin – I think that I am trying very hard to react without judgment or prejudice on local customs that are not mine, but rather with my feet in the woman’s mocassins.
2)Steve — the camera is mounted in the computer, and I can’t really move the notebook around Penant, because I’m afraid to lose or break it, so I leave it at the hotel.
3)LJ, Good to hear from you. I will try to take and post snippets of video with my still camera for you.

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