Today, I will be answering a question from a blog reader: Mari.
First and foremost, I use the term 'hijabi' as according to what she pointed out in her comment in my recent post 'My Last Spanish Class'.
Frankly, I wonder if the term 'hijabi' is actually a term at all. ^^ This is my first time seeing the term. Please pardon my lack of general knowledge.
Finding ' Hijabi' in Google Search varies in result but one in UrbanDictionary says:
A woman or girl who wears the Islamic head-covering respectfully, called Hijab. This is the Arabic word for headscarf but isn't limited to that. It also means "cover" or "protection" against evil things in the surrounding world. - by God'sent
Back to Mari's comment: "Just a quick question--what is it like as a hijabi in Spain? Would love it if you could write a post about it!! :))) Hasta luego, hermana! :)"
Shades of me in hijab, holding baby Matilda and
with my beloved husband.
My answer: I am not considered as a weirdo nor wearing a hijab seems weird in Spain.
¿Por qué ? (Why?)
The main reason being that Islam was here even before Spain becomes a Catholic country. Period.
Citing from Wikipedia:
"Roman Catholicism has long been the main religion of Spain, and although it no longer has official status by law, in all public schools in Spain students have to choose either a religion or ethics class, and Catholicism is the only religion officially taught. According to an April 2012 study by the Spanish Center of Sociological Research about 71% of Spaniards self-identify as Catholics, 2.7% other faith, and about 24% identify with no religion (9.4% of the total are atheists). Most Spaniards do not participate regularly in religious services. This same study shows that of the Spaniards who identify themselves as religious, 59% hardly ever or never go to church, 15% go to church some times a year, 8% some time per month and 14% every Sunday or multiple times per week."
The bad stigma against the Muslim is not felt here or is it only me who is unaware? The Spanish or the society in Spain has an air about them as if they just don't mind other people's business. I somewhat like and somewhat don't. *Wait until I have better hold of Spanish language..this might change after that or... not*
First and foremost, Spain has so many immigrants particularly from the neighboring Islamic country - Morocco. Moroccan is a part of the Andalus and if you realize, Spanish do carry Arabic blood because of the history although the Spaniards hate to be tied whatsoever with the Arabic culture or history.
Citing from Stormfront:
"Because the Iberian pennisula was occupied by the Moores from north Africa (mainly Morrocco) for thirteen centures, a lot of "white" Spaniards have varying degrees of Moorish blood, which is why some say Spaniards are Arabs. The Moores were basically a mixture of white semite Arab and negro."
Many of them (the Moroccans) in Spain; carry dual nationality - Moroccan and Spanish citizenship. Being said..so many Muslimah wearing hijabi all about doing their daily chores and some of them are working women in the society.
Second, European society and Asian society has distinguish culture. Asian care more and sometimes are too nosier (showing too much curiosity about other people's affairs). I'm Asian...so I'm nosier..hahaha.
Me? Just a housewife. An envy of many women because many women dream to be a housewife. True? I don't know. Maybe you who read this don't agree.
Well...me who wear hijab do get occasional stares.
Not because of my hijabi..but because I look different from the normal hijabi-wearing-women the people in Spain normally see. My face look different. I totally do not look like Moroccan or the Arabs. I'm Asian but I'm not Chinese; who open many Alimentacion here in Madrid.
I am different so they stare...hehe. A common logic, no?
I'm used to it because I like attention. Hahaha..kidding.
Well..the years in South Korea has toughened me but what the heck. As long as they don't have blazing laser like Iron Man from their eyes, I'm gonna be fine. ^^ I'm not gonna die just because people stare, right?
In Korea, I was approached by the Christian missionary a few times. How about here in Spain? My husband said it is the same thing here.
Well, maybe my hijab protects me from the Christian or Catholic missionary in Spain. Wallahualam. Allah protects the one He wants to protect.
But there is a stark difference between a Muslimah who wears hijab (appropriately) and who doesn't right? You can sense the difference from miles away.
Just to make my point..read on.
Last Friday, I walked from Nuevos Ministerios Cercanias station to Estrecho Mosque and on my way, I saw a lady who looks like a Malaysian (I might be wrong), wearing a hijab and she passed me by.
We exchanged smiles and the cool 10% male character in me; held my hand up like a signal for saying 'hi, how are you doing?'. I didn't stop my track though. My husband asked why I didn't stop and chat with her. I said that we would be late to the mosque for Friday prayer and he said I was ridiculous! I should stop and greet her. Aigoooo...
Well, maybe next time.