Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ode to the Middle East

Academia: Today, the attitudiest kid in the class I just took over came to my office specifically to tell me I'm a good teacher. I was convinced this class hated me and missed their old teacher, but at least one person doesn't think that. Yay!

Sartorial: Today's outfit, accessory by accessory, turned into an ode to the Middle East. My necklace is my mom's maiden name spelled in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, which I know has nothing to do with the modern Middle East, but I love wearing it anyway.

The scarf I'm wearing as a belt was my grandmother's and I never thought twice about it until I wore it to work a few months ago and a Saudi student pointed out that it's very similar to the Saudi keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by men. I asked then if it was offensive to wear it as a belt, but that student insisted it wasn't. Today, I got a similar reaction from another Saudi student: "This is keffiyeh! Very nice, teacher." I always try to be careful wearing things that come from other cultures, as I don't want to culturally appropriate anything (see Allyson's post on cultural appropriation on Decoding Dress for better-considered thoughts on this), but I think as long as I'm not upsetting anyone, I'm okay.

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