Feminine fashion

"This is the culture of Afghanistan": women with colored dresses that stand for the Taliban

By hollisterclothingoutlet 31/08/2022 434 Views

Using hashtags like #donottouchmyclothes (do not touch my clothes) and #Afghanistanculture (culture of Afghanistan), many are sharing photos and claiming in them their colorful traditional dresses.

Sodaba Haidare, journalist at the BBC, spoke with the woman who promoted the initiative, the Afghan academic Bahar Jalali.

If you are looking for "traditional Afghan clothing" on Google, the result may overwhelm you: dozens of multicolored clothes images.

They are unique, with handmade embroidery and colorful designs, small mirrors placed carefully around the chest, long and pleated skirts, perfect for spinning during Attan, national dance of Afghanistan.

Some women wear embroidered hats, other heavy heads, depending on the Afghanistan region from which they come.

In the last 20 years dozens of women have worn the simplified version of this clothing daily to go to college or work, sometimes replacing skirts with jeans, hats with handkerchiefs.

But the images of the last weekend in Kabul have been a great contrast.

To support "the orders of the Taliban", several women wore long black abayas and completely covered their face and hands.

Also, several women demonstrated in favor of the Taliban in Kabul, and through a video some of them said that those who wear makeup and modern clothing "do not represent Muslim Afghan woman".

To which they added that they do not want "the rights of foreign women in disagreement with the Sharía", in reference to the strict version of the Islamic law promoted by the Talibanes.

It soon arrived the response of dozens of Afghanas around the world, who joined the campaign initiated by Jalali, an exprofesora at the American University of Afghanistan, on social networks.

"It's not our identity"

Jalali says that this campaign began because one of his "greatest concerns is that the identity and sovereignty of Afghanistan are being attacked".

Jalali posted a photograph of his on Twitter with a green dress and urged others to follow his example to show "the true face of Afghanistan".

"I wanted to tell the world that the outfits that have been seen in the media (referring to those used by pro-workshop) are not part of our culture.They are not our identity, "he said.

Rupture with tradition

Many were baffled by the way women had dressed in the demonstration in favor of the Taliban.

For many Afghans, completely covered faces and hands are a strange concept.They are accustomed to colorful and kaleidoscopic traditional dresses.

Each region in Afghanistan has its own traditional clothing, but they have the color, the use of mirrors and embroidery.

And these women also share a thought: that their dresses are part of their identity.

"This is the authentic Afghan dress.The Afghan woman wears colorful and modest outfits.The Burka Negro has never been part of our culture, "Spozhmay Maseed, human rights activist in Virginia, United States tweeted..

"For centuries we have been an Islamic country and our grandmothers have modestly used its traditional outfits, not the invented blue chadari and the black burka," Maseed said.

"Our traditional clothing represents our rich culture and history of 5.000 years that proud each Afghan ".

Even those who lived in the most conservative parts of the country say they had never seen women dress Niqab, a black garment that covers the face.

"I published that photo because we are Afghan women, we dressed our culture with pride and we thought that a terrorist group cannot define our identity.Our culture is not dark, it is not white and black.It is colorful and there is beauty, art, crafts and identity ".

Thus says Lima Halima Ahmad, a 37 -year -old Afghan researcher and founder of the Afghan Association Paywand, focused on women's issues.

Increasing pressure

Ahmad has lived and worked the last 20 years in Afghanistan.

"Women could choose.My mother used a long and big veil and some chose to wear a smaller one.The clothing codes did not apply to women, "says Ahmad.

"We had not seen situations in which the woman was completely covered, with a kind of gloomy uniform, in which the eyes are not even seen.It seems that it has been ordered specifically, as an exhibition form, "Ahmad added, in reference to the demonstration in favor of the Taliban.

Malali Bashir, an Afghan journalist who lives in Prague, also participated in the Twitter campaign.

He says that in the town where he grew up, "the burka, white or black, was never a norm".

"Women wore their traditional clothes.The most adult wore a black veil and the youngest used colored shares.Women greeted men by shaking hands ".

"Recently there has been a growing pressure on Afghan woman to change her attire and culture, she is completely covered and disappears from public hearing," he continues.

"I uploaded my photo and shared one of my paintings in which Afghan women show our traditional dresses and dance the national dance known as Attan".

Strict clothing rules

Taliban officials say that women will be able to study and work from Acurdo to the Sharía Law and the traditional local culture, although strict rules of clothing will be applied.

Some Afghan women have already begun to dress more modestly and the chadari, the blue garment that covers the entire body and leaves a mesh rectangle in front of the eyes, has returned and has seen more women using them in Kabul and other cities.

Higher Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani announced this Sunday that universities will be segregated and that veils will be mandatory for all students.

Although it did not specify whether this means that the head or face will be covered in a mandatory way.

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