This February 1st will count as the seventh annual celebration of World Hijab Day. Ms. Nazma Khan, the founder of this movement has encouraged women worldwide to experience observing Hijab for a day. It is an all inclusive celebration for non-Muslims and non-hijab Muslims to “walk a day in their shoes,” instead of judging and assuming the worst of the hijab tradition.
For those confused about what a hijab is, it’s one of several different types of headscarves worn by many Muslim women. Specifically, the word hijab means to veil and does not cover the entire face, just the hair and the neck. For some, a hijab carries stigmas like oppression and even enslavement by the male gender. According to Ms. Khan, most women wear the hijab with pride and love for Allah. Muslim women cover most of their body and hair to divert attention from being judged on looks to instead being judged by her mind, personality and life ambitions. Ms. Khan describes this tradition as a way for women to respect their body like a pearl in the ocean and how it is covered by its beautiful shell.
Gaining knowledge about different cultures is essential when seeking to become global and open minded. Reading about other cultures and meeting people from other cultures is a great start. To reach a greater level of understanding put yourself in the shoes of those who practice different beliefs. This helps us acquire acceptance of different customs and helps this world become less judgmental. World Hijab Day revolves around encouraging women to try the hijab it at least once in a spirit of solidarity.
Sharon Schweitzer and Sophie Echeverry co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.
Sophie Echeverry is the Corporate Marketing Manager and Event Coordinator at Access to Culture. Born and raised in Colombia, she’s a 2018 graduate with a B.B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Hult International Business School in San Francisco, CA. Sophie has co-written more than 30 blogs since graduation. She’s a passionate foodie, and an avid e-scooter rider. Follow her foodie Instagram account or Connect with her on LinkedIn.