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Explain Hajib to 3 year old?


7 replies to this topic

#1 PerthFembo

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:16 PM

Hi ladies, I was hoping someone on here could help me. I took my nephew to the shops today and he pointed out a young lady wearing a hajib and asked me “why does that lady have a towel on her head?”. I really wasn’t sure what to tell him and didn’t want to cause offense if she overheard me give a wrong explanation. So I ended up with “I’m not sure, it could be part of her religion” (which seems like a pretty big cop out to me). So I would actually like to find out for my own knowledge and for when my DD asks one day.

Can someone please explain (in laymans terms suitable to tell a child) why some women wear hajibs and niquabs? And am I right in assuming only people of Muslim faith wear them (as in if you are from a muslim culture but not actually religious you woundn’t)?

I hope this isn’t an offensive question!

Edited by JBaby, 18 April 2012 - 03:18 PM.


#2 Guest_Wombat Wife_*

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:47 PM

I think I would describe it as a sign that she follows a particular religion and that other people also wear clothing that tells us something about their religion or occupation - a turban may mean that someone is a sikh, a christian may wear a cross somewhere, and  jew may wear a skullcap or a six pointed star. I'd also point out that not everyone chooses to wear these symbols, and that they are not compulsory like army or police uniforms.

You can then encourage observation when out and about. You may be able to spot members of the Salvation Army by the uniform, Josephite sisters by their characteristic brooche, priests or ministers by the dog collar and buddhist monks or nuns by the robes. Placed within the panoply of symbolic clothing the hijab should not appear too baffling.

Keep it simple.

Edited by Wombat Wife, 18 April 2012 - 03:49 PM.


#3 PrizzyII

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:51 PM

I'd be more concerned about how a 3 year old can't tell the difference between a towel and a fabric scarf to be honest. Why not just say because she wants to?

#4 Kay1

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:56 PM

I told my DS that his friend's mum wore one because she wanted to and it was important to her. Then when we saw people with a hijab he would say "Oh, just like x's mum" and I explained that other people that follow the same religion also wear them because its important to them too. He was completely satisfied with that explanation.

#5 Apageintime

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:56 PM

how about - 'because people dress differently?' or 'some people like to'

takes the complicated out of it - and is true.

#6 la di dah

Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:00 PM

Orthodox Jewish women sometimes wear these or various snoods which don't look all that much like some styles of hijab but more like a hijab than a towel does, so yeah.

I'm not sure why in that instance in the store, "it's not a towel, it's a scarf, and she wears it because she wants to" wouldn't do though? And then later talk about how different cultures wear different clothes later, and how neither is right or wrong.

#7 Matthias' mum

Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:02 PM

I would say it was a special part of her religion to wear a scarf over her hair, just like Gran and Grandad like to wear a special cross necklace. If he wanted to know what religion, I would say that she was Muslim, and that Muslim people go to a building like a church called a mosque, to pray to God. If he asked why, I would tell him that it's how she chooses to express her love for God.

DS has been to church a few times, so he would understand this idea. I'd go into more detail when he was older.

I don't think it needs to be a big deal - people wearing different types of clothing, whether it be for religious or cultural reasons, are just a normal part of life.

#8 statua angelam

Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:24 PM

I think, "Some women like to cover their hair when they're out, and for some of them it's part of their religion," would be enough as a start.  I'd just want to be clear that not everyone who wears something like that (as la di dah points out) is Muslim.



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