do you agree? yes, ade orang cadangkan supaya ban kan orang lain dari memakai pakaian kebangsaan orang arab ni! i’m sure more than one of my non-arab readers wear abaya!
let’s face it – the arab culture is sweeping our nation : malaysian ladies are wearing abaya, eating yemeni mandi rice and listening to maher zain. it’s obviously arab-mania!
i myself have never tried wearing abaya in malaysia, but here in dubai, it’s like part of my wardrobe! sending khaleef down to his bus, it’s so much easier to wear the abaya over my pajamas!
when i was pregnant with kazim, i practically wear abaya most of the time when we go out! airy, lots of space for my expanding tummy and of course, extremely comfy.
also, some malaysians i know wear abaya to avoid being mistaken as filipinos! sad to say, here in dubai there is an apparent double-standard when it comes to what your nationality is, so it’s best to wear the abaya proudly so as not to be mistaken as an indonesian maid, or a filipino retail staff!
but again, do you agree that if you’re not arab, then don’t dress like one?
* * *
this letter from a reader (a local, surely) was published in the local newspaper, and his/her message is loud and clear :
Sunday 9 Jan, 2011
As an Emirati I think that the wearing of local dress by other nationalities should be banned.
There are so many other nationalities who wear a *kandora and people think they are local and give us a bad name with there attitude!
Frustrated Emirati, Dubai
taken from 7days.
*kandora is the long white jubah worn by arab men.
in the lift of my apartment : me & my sisters had fun wearing abaya (when they were here dec 2009 when i was 8 month pregnant with kazim), complete with matching headscarves. it covers appropriately, it’s very comfy, the material needs no hassle of ironing and we look great haha – what’s wrong with that? are we insulting the arabs by doing so?
and this is another letter published that supported the reader’s opinion.
Respect Emiratis, and don't dress like them
Monday 10 Jan, 2011
Expats wearing national dress is insulting, says this reader
I fully agree with the letter from Frustrated Emirati - ‘If you’re not a local, don’t dress like one’ (Letters, Jan 9). The UAE National dress is something that should be worn with pride by Emiratis and is part of their culture. Having expats wear the national dress is insulting to many Emiratis I imagine.
..And for those people who dress like an Emiraiti out of choice .....why?
Granted, respect the culture and don’t dress like a street walker (men included). Cover up and dress sensibly - but dressing in UAE National dress should be for Emiratis only.
also from 7days.
do you agree with both these readers?
maybe the reader has had a bad experience with some expats who wore the abaya or kandora. however, it’s fair to say that some of us expats pun ada pengalaman yang tak best with orang tempatan yang berpakaian abaya dan kandora!
it’s just about people, not the dressing!
to go so far as to ask for a ban is going over the top. there are many reasons why non-arabs wear abaya, and not all of them will bring a bad name to this lovely attire.
and insulting? if an arab lady wore our traditional baju kurung, i would be more than happy; proud even! well, when my non-malay colleagues wore baju kurung to work, or when my non-malay schoolmates wore baju kurung to school, i felt nothing but pride. the baju kurung is an evergreen, elegant, yet demure attire and looks so lovely on anyone who wears it!
i remember during my eldest sister’s wedding, my sister’s chinese classmate actually bought a baju kurung specially to be worn for the kenduri. also my good friend erika who’s an indian, tailor-made a kebaya songket just so she could be my maid of honor on my wedding!
these non-malays show such good sport, and i welcome their enthusiasm over my traditional attire. they look so gorgeous wearing our (malay) traditional attire, why should i be insulted?
the only thing i agree about this issue is, if you dress like one, don't dress negatively. which, if you think about it – senang cerita, kalau pakai pakaian tradisional tu, perangai tu elok-elok la sikit! nama pun *tradisional*! hihi. mesejnya ialah, sila kontrol ayu kot!
malaysians wearing abaya! : mr. khairul’s mom & sis teh, me holding a 3 yr old khaleef in front of atlantis hotel on palm jumeirah island. next picture : my younger sisters azot & syidot, in front of the exquisite burj al-arab hotel.
comel pe malaysians pakai abaya! hihi
these are some of the replies from other readers after the 2 published letters. there are many, but these are the ones that i agree with!
COMMENT FOR THE 2 LETTERS
- "..if this is the case, shouldn't all locals stop wearing baseball caps? after all they are american.." (some young arabs wear kandora with baseball caps, instead of the kain merah petak-petak tu)
- "..so why do local ladies wear western clothing under their abayas instead of the traditional dress and suruwal - huh."
- "..many countries including, yemen, syria, india, pakistan, iran, iraq and many other countries wear the abaya (in few different formats).."
- "the abaya or the kandoora is not a national dress, it is worn by many people in parts of the islamic world.."
- "..(i’m not local but) sooner or later i’m going to get marry to one emirati and before i met him i am already wearing hijab and abaya since i reverted to islam, no regret alhamdulillah.."
- "..plenty of foreign women also married to local men and their husbands or in laws encourage them to wear abaya to fit in - so to speak...for e.g. sonia ghandi is italian but she adopted her husbands culture and wears saris.”
- "..if i see that a person is someone that i hold in high esteem and someone that respects other cultures and nationalities, i would be proud to see him/her wear my national dress, whatever it might be - an abaya, a dish dash, a kimono, a sari, a shalwar kameez, whatever.."
- "..i have so many friends from different nationalities who have been so happy to dress me up in many different traditional dresses, and would have been very happy, for example, if i attended their wedding ceremonies dressed as 'one of them'."
here’s us in front of a fort in oman : my sis-in-law tina in abaya, a pregnant me and my bro-in-law asrar in black kandora – doesn’t he look snappy!
i wear the abaya by choice – the 2nd letter asks why. well, here are my reasons!
WHY DO I WEAR ABAYA
- it’s a lovely dress – it’s beautiful black (which as everyone knows, gives the ‘slim’ illusion!) and the design is elegant – long, flowing with simple decorative beads or embroidery
- it doesn’t need ironing
- it’s easy to wear – just pull it over whatever you’re wearing; jeans, pajamas or baju kurung!
- it’s very comfy and airy
- it’s very modest and covers the aurat appropriately
- it’s black so it goes with ANYTHING! printed, or any colored tudung
and why do you wear abaya? would you like to wear one? *wink wink*