Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Woman in a Chador

I think what the woman was wearing is called a chador. She was dressed head to toe in a flowing black robe. Only her eyes were visible. Passing through the hall at the Senior Center, she paused for a few minutes to watch our Zumba class. Eight men and women of various ethnicities faced an instructor who led them through a fast-paced dance combining elements of salsa, cumbia and cha-cha. I wonder what she thought. Was she scandalized or did she long to join us? 

Such women are becoming a more common sight in our town. About twenty years ago, I was in the the old mall when a chador-wearing woman rode down the escalator with her husband and two sons. The man and his boys were dressed like any other American male in July. They wore shorts, tee shirts, sandals and baseball caps. Maybe her black tent-like garment protected the woman from the summer heat, but it looked heavy. Somehow I doubt it. A nearby African-American man who was watching them turned to his little boy and said, "Now you just know they're not from around here." 

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