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Cultural Differences in the World

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    When it comes to attire many we first think, depending on the season, clothes but with skin, showing seems pretty normal to us. That isn’t the case everywhere, and because we aren’t informed most of us assume what we wear is right. It’s true that people fear the unknown but when it comes down to culture vs opinion, the opinion will never win. Unless having actually experienced that change of dressing form one cannot truly understand what it means to dress “appropriately” according to that specific culture or religion.

    There are places that have very strict laws on women, both written and unspoken but that is known around their society that one must follow. In Pakistan, a form of covering is with the use of a ‘hijab’ which even by itself isn’t the purest of forms due to the exposure of the rest of the body. More conservative clothing for women would be the ‘burqa’ which would mainly only leave a woman’s eyes and nose exposed to being visible. Both have the same idea behind them, protection from those watching. This being a part of their culture women don’t feel as powerless as an outsider may think, it’s something that’s been practiced for generations and will continue on through time. While this is a very normal part of their culture in other places it’s completely out of the ordinary and in some places it’s even forbidden.

    In other places such as France have gone to extremes to prohibit them. With lack of understanding of one’s culture in fear of their safety the French government decides to enact laws to prohibit “face coverings”. This ban was passed on September 14th, 2010 and many people were not happy about it. Freedom of religion and expression took into place within the population of France both residents and visiting took action with marches and protests, none to be successful.

    In Exit West, there are several parts where there is a mention of her attire of black robes. Although from the background it’s for religious purposes Nadia isn’t very religious at all. She states that she wears them so that other men would not mess with her. She wears these robes out of preference instead of culture. In another part of the book, Nadia is shown going to the bank on her way there she is sexually assaulted. Aside from being their own society way of pronouncing women in their culture, the rebels are also used as a blockade from other men that can see them. Nadia uses this intentionally but when the reader realizes that Nadia has t wear the dark roes in order to complete simple tasks such as going to the bank without getting harassed one gets angry at men and begins to believe they are incapable of controlling themselves.

    Realizing that there is more than what meets the eye is the first step to accepting other people cultures from all perspectives. To some, a ‘modern’ woman could have a very normal but derogatory tone depending on who uses it and where they come from. Taking the time to learn and simply brush up on facts or ideas of why one is the way they are is a good habit, keeping people intrigued in other people while still remaining respectful. Assuming one is always correct on the other hand doesn’t bode well and can carry a negative appeal to an outsider. No matter what one wears or doesn’t, there’s always a reason behind it and people just need to accept that everyone is different.

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