Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Cousin in Hijab

As salaam alaikum,

I was just cruising facebook before I went to sleep to see that Deval Patrick was re-elected...then I checked Michigan's results and saw that Bernero was not elected. Although I tend to vote pretty strictly Democrat because I've never been impressed with various Republican's platforms in terms of their stance on poverty and disparities and issues that effect the working class, including black people...I didn't have time to form strong opinions in this election. I think I would have been better off registering to vote in Massachusetts instead of holding on to my Michigan residence.

[I realize that I never vote for the candidate who has my specific interests at heart...because seriously, my parents are upper middle class, I'm about to be a greatest plight would be taxation. I always vote for the candidate that will do the most for "my" community and my patients. Honestly, few candidates fully fit these interests of mine...]

My permanent residence is still listed as my parent's home, even though at this point I live in my apartment in Boston more than I live at home, ever since medical school. I don't in a place for 22 years of your life, you kind of have the feeling you'll be back, and it was such a big part of you, you don't want to give it up...something.

Anyway, I was cruising down, seeing a picture of a friend who I think was trying to look like a South Asian Don Draper (I love Mad Men, by the way...that show a little bit genius), I saw a picture of one of my cousins. She was wearing a scarf.

My cousin was donning hijab.

At first, my breathing arrested. I was surprised and a little bit concerned. But then, I just had to smile. I don't know if she was just taking the picture for facebook of her in hijab or if she's going to become a muhajaba for real,'s a good look. I like it.

Of all of my cousins who are Muslim or Muslim-leaning, she would be the only one besides me to ever observe hijab, only the second of our generation. Of my mother's generation, she and my eldest aunt had done hijab, though my aunt still does, and my grandmother still does, somewhat, although the scarf has not been simplified to this little black turban she used to wear around the house.

If she is actually donning hijab, I will definitely offer my support and congratulations on making the decision. I don't feel any pangs about it, you know, in terms of me not wearing the scarf any longer. I don't feel pangs because I know that my chosing not to wear the scarf is not a permanent decision, and knowing that I don't regret having worn the scarf when I did. I think it'll be a wonderful experience for my cousin...whether or not men or a man is in the picture...

So it was the surprise for the evening. After that, one of my classmates, who's currently doing a rotation in South Africa, caught me on Gchat. I spent all evening twisting my hair (it took 7 hours, essentially from 5pm to midnight), which is quite a time investment but it saves me from the grief of grooming an afro and keeping it hydrated, which usually means major shedding...but yeah. She says we should set up a phone date later...that sounds good.

So nothing really in particular to comment on. I just really liked seeing my cousin hijab. I think it was important for me, too, many of my cousins are nominal Muslims or not-there-yet Muslims, but besides some of my male cousins, none of the females were practicing, really, except for me. So now, even though we're in different states and probably will not see each other for months or years at a time, I don't feel as lonely in my family.

Anyway, I'm sleepy.

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