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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


November 4, 1999

Mocking the chador

I am writing this letter in regard to your article ["Halloween 1999"]. Apparently, the pictures show some young people dressed in different costumes at a Halloween party. From what I see in those distorted pictures, some of the costumes also appear to depict the traditional Iranian dress -- the chador (veil). If this is the case, I like to express my deepest disappointment in the attitude of such young compatriots who humiliate and demean a traditional dress worn by our mothers and great grandmothers.

It is extremely sad to see the young generation, whom we hope to preserve our culture and traditions, to make a mockery of a traditional dress which represents deep emotional belief in a large sector of our people. Unfortunately, the mind of our new Iranian generation has been clouded with the notion that blue-eyed, large-breasted women with blond hair who dress erotically are the ideal. How about if we respect the way that other people think and dress, and try to free ourselves from self-centeredness that the West has imposed on us.

Those who wear chador BY CHOICE are not ignorant as some may think. They know what they are doing. What kind of message are we implying by mocking them? Such displays are as bad as those who force women to wear the chador, and those who forcefully prevented them to follow their belief.

Many years ago, a dictator also believed that the chador represents backwardness, and that to become civilized women must be forced to remove their veil and look like Western women. Our mothers and grandmothers resisted with everything they had, and did not submit themselves to these pressures.

Haven't our women been harassed and humiliated enough in our male-chauvinist society back home? Do we really need to make a mockery of the way they dress, and humiliate them further? Every day we see our nationality, culture, and traditions disgraced. These pictures are like arrows thru our hearts.

Isa Tanha

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