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How do I explain this to DD?

(12 Posts)
LouBeeLou Mon 27-Jun-05 13:36:29

Wasn't sure where to post this (have put it in the multiculture section too), but I need help explaining something to DD (7yo).

We live in an area of Yorkshire that is predominantly white people. This weekend we went to Bradford and I had a hard job keeping DD quiet as she gawped at all the Indian ladies we saw in traditional dress. Some had just their hair covered, some their whole faces, and some were covered from head to toe with only their eyes showing.

You know what kids are like 'Mummy why is that lady hiding under that?', 'Mummy why does that lady have a scarf on her head when it's not cold?', etc.

I tried to explain that just as a Christian might wear a necklace with a cross on as part of their religion, these ladies cover their hair as part of their religion. 'But WHY Mummy???'

Please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but could someone help me explain this in simple terms to a seven year old?


sharklet Mon 27-Jun-05 13:51:48

Hi Tia,

I would just say its thier way of respecting god and that in every country people have different ways of respecting god. Maybe show her some pictures of nuns who cover their heads as well.

Its really hard when they start questioning other cultures but the fact that she is interested is good. Maybe try showing her some things from indian culture, henna on the hands, some indian music and the like.


Emma xx

Carameli Mon 27-Jun-05 14:10:31

Not sure I can add much more than sharklet but I would agree with getting some books from the library. THere are usually ones on different religions that might interest her.

throckenholt Mon 27-Jun-05 14:23:54

I would just say that different people believe different things, and some wear special clothes as part of their beliefs. And maybe visit the library to find books about different religions. Also maybe ask at the school to see if they have any topics planned on it, or any books about it that she can borrow.

aloha Mon 27-Jun-05 14:27:22

V surprised that Indian women covered their faces. I have never seen that before. Arab women yes, but Indian women no. Shalwar khameez (sp?) or saris, yes. And I think those are more traditional/cultural than purely religious dress.

sharklet Mon 27-Jun-05 14:48:41

It depends on where they are from, if they were actually Indian then yes I would say its a traditional dress thing. But they could easily have been from Bangladesh or one of the other areas in the region of India which are predominately muslim - in which case some of them would cover thier heads.

Emma x

aloha Mon 27-Jun-05 14:50:31

but not faces. That's so extreme. I have never seen an Indian woman do it.

sharklet Mon 27-Jun-05 14:58:27

its possible she is using "Indian" as a generic term as she is not sure of the nationality. That was my other guess becasue yes full faces is a far more arab thing.

Emma x

meggymoo Mon 27-Jun-05 15:05:16

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meggymoo Mon 27-Jun-05 15:06:00

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meggymoo Mon 27-Jun-05 15:09:01

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LouBeeLou Tue 28-Jun-05 13:11:37

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I am going to see if I can find some books that will help her understand more.


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