Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mother confusion

In all my years in the Middle East, I had never seen happen what I saw last week: a small child ran up to his mother, a woman wearing full abaya and niqab.

BUT. It wasn't his mother! His mother was a different woman wearing full abaya and niqab, nearby. The woman the kid mistook for his mother gently shepherded him in the right direction.

I always thought this must happen all the time. As a friend pointed out on fb, this happens all the time even when mothers and fathers aren't covered head-to-toe. I myself remember many years ago pulling on the pants leg of a man at Costco to get his attention. I thought it was my dad. It wasn't. Adults sometimes look the same from the waist down when you're a kid and can only really see that far up.

But I assumed this mother-confusion with abaya/niqab was more common, because only the eyes are showing. Who knows if it actually is - I'm just glad I saw it happen in person for once!

4 comments:

Jen said...

I think it's amazing that it doesn't happen more often. I'm sure there's so much more self-identifying about our body language and our eyes than we think!

Jen said...

For instance, if I wore full abaya and niqab, my kids would probably say, "See that lady over there with the ridiculously poor posture? That's my mom."

Bingo.

Bridget said...

Yes, I agree! And there can be subtle differences in abayas - some have sparkles or jewels or designs sewn in. But from afar, it's still a long black robe.

Liz Johnson said...

Is it weird for me to immediately wonder if this happens with baby zebras? Baby zebras have to confuse the various adults, right?!

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