Edit Blog Post
Published: February 10th 2008
Picking up where I left off a few entries ago, there are a few more things I should add about the headscarf. Başörtüsü, I am told, refers to the headscarf worn (often by older women) which allows the hair to be visible around the top of the forehead, by the neck, etc. The türban, which is at the heart of this debate, is something different. The word turban makes me think of hairy Sikh men wearing UFO-shaped lengths of fabric twisted on top of their heads. Here in Turkey, türban has come to mean a başörtüsü worn over something-like-a-swimming-cap, which completely hides all hair from sight.
I was also (wrongly) under the impression that the new rules would allow female university students to wear their headscarves in the classroom. Those students do now have the freedom to wear their headscarves around campus - into smoky dining halls, smoky computer labs, up and down smoky hallways, and just about anywhere else they please (I have seen türban-wearing women smoking, by the way. It's a perplexing contradiction, as I believe Islam does not permit this vice). However, before entering a classroom, they must de-headscarf, and de-something-like-a-swimming-cap. All that taboo female hair must
The president's building is the tallest one on campus, and centrally located, making it a convenient landmark. And, wow, that's how you build a fire escape...
be on display during lecture time, a sexy distraction that I'm not sure I'll be able to handle! I mean hair, real, Turkish hair!
(I just let out a nasal, funky "ooo-ooooooo-ooo-ooooooh" that would make Prince blush)
So, the good news is I've found a solution to this debate:
I will start wearing the türban, for 6 reasons.
1. This will spread equality by demonstrating that the garment can be embraced by people of both genders.
2. My wearing of the headscarf, as a non-Muslim, will help to de-politicize it. It is a garment for all people, everywhere!
3. Protection from those harsh, wintry Anatolian winds.
4. By donning the controversial accessory, I'll demonstrate that Americans still have a sense of humor. After seven years of the shamefull - and many would still argue ILLEGAL - regime of George W. Bush, we still have the ability to laugh. His administration may have tarnished our standing in the international community and irreversably damaged our future as a nation, but it has not completely broken us as human beings.
5. I will save money on haircuts. Although, by doing so, I will miss out on interesting experiences. The Turkish torch and
I'm glad that they remembered to mention that...
thread treatment is quite surprising, as is the no-pain-no-gain style face, head, neck, and shoulder massage which is unleashed when you least expect it - y'know, during a haircut.
6. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I will display my own sexual modesty, for the good of Turkey. I'm not saying that Turkey's women are in danger of losing control of themselves simply at the sight of me. In no way do I mean to imply that Anatolian hearts start thumping everytime I walk into a room. Still, is it a coincidence that this headscarf debate has grown to a heated level since my arrival in the country? You decide...
Moving on to somthing completely unrelated, let me comment on something that I find particularly comical. Some of the Turkish evening news shows score their broadcasts! That is, a serious story about a house fire, an arrest, a natural disaster, fighting in faraway lands, or whatever else, will be set to epic music appropriate for a movie like Braveheart. Being someone skeptical of traditional media sorces to begin with, this added spice, this theatrical frosting is just too much for me to take.
Six people died today in Gaza
food, billiards, internet
A fair amount of campus socializing seems to take place here. This is where I am right now - can't remember the name of this building...
(cymbol crash!)... conditions in Kenya continued to deteriorate (rumbling kettle drums)... and American president George W. Bush (slide whistle & cow bell)... meanwhile, Prime Minister Erdoğan (soothing, dignified strings, building meaningfully)...
I've been reminded of this because Ahmet, my new roommate, likes to watch a fair bit of TV, as far as I can tell. He arrived two days ago, with a nasty cold, and found me in the same state. We've been drinking juice, sniffling, and coughing together - trying to make the most of our final weekend of freedom before classes begin. I keep my pocket dictionary ever close by.
My new favorite words are:
dilbilgisi - grammar (lit. "language-knowledge" or "language-information")
şişe mantarı - cork (lit. "bottle mushroom")
Tot: 2.163s; Tpl: 0.089s; cc: 13; qc: 73; dbt: 0.0635s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb