OLD SCHOOL HIJABI HAS MOVED TO ITS OWN DOMAIN! THIS BLOG WILL NO LONGER BE UPDATED AT THIS ADDRESS…TO SEE THE NEW BLOG AND TO INTERACT WITH OLD SCHOOL HIJABI, GO TO WWW.OLDSCHOOLHIJABI.COM
This is an article of traditional Iranian clothing is a point of much contention both inside or Iran and outside of Iran.
I can both understand the contention yet I also think it’s overrated!
As someone who wears Chador when IN Iran I wanted to comment on this first, (because dang, I get sick and tired of constantly reiterating what I am about to write below!)
Rural women wore it differently than women wear it today, for them it was always a part of their clothing, they always had their chador on 24/7 and this is still usually the case today! They were worn and are worn like any essential item of clothing, around the house, outside and around them while sleeping. They were not black or fancy but made of simple colored and printed cotton materials. The only time a rural woman wore a black chador was for a funeral! These black chadors used then were always very heavy and made of expensive silk material. Most women owned only 1 “mourning” chador. This is why even to this day, older rural women in central Iran really loath the color black, they still say it’s a color for funerals! I remember once I was around the house and had on a black maghneh and some older women from the village popped by to visit and have tea and they chided me for wearing a black scarf, saying it would bring us bad luck and they compelled me to go and change it! I’m serious. Hence when I’m in the familial village I try to not wear a black scarf.
In modern Iran, chadors also worn by urban women with no rural background. But their wearing tends to have a slightly different connontation, particularly in Tehran. They are worn for their connontations of religiousity and conservativism. Anytime I am in Tehran I can usually tell what a womens personal political slant or religious leanings are based on how she wears her chador. In “provincial” cities like Esfahan where the chador is much more traditional due to the large amount of villages around the city this is not the case as a women who wears a chador might be religious, or she might not be. It really varies and depends on the person.
And an interesting side note- traditional Persian Iranians tend to consider the chador extremely feminine and so many girls in chador-wearing families grow up liking the chador because it shows that they are beautiful and feminine and things like that. I one asked my niece in law whether she liked wearing the chador and she said, ofcourse…she would never stop (even if she married into a family where the women didnt usually wear chador) because it was a “symbol” of her femininity. Many little girls thrill at the chance to have a play chador and many have fun playing with a chador around them, throwing it off when the play gets hot or intense. This is normal, it’s not considered weird or strange. Children also grow up having a special affinity for their moms chador, because outside they cling to the fabric as they walk down a street, at home they play with it or swish around their moms legs under the chador, a chador is also mighty handy for tidying up dirty little faces, snotty noses and wiping hands clean. My husband to this day will sometimes attempt to tidy himself up using one of my chadors! My son tries too but I try to disourage it!