Friday, February 11, 2011

Where's Waldo in the Village of Andon?

This was my outfit for the trip:

The women are more conservative and religious in the villages, in general, so of course I stuck out like a sore thumb amidst all the black chadors (the black sheet, essentially, that the women wrap around themselves).  It wasn't really a problem, as I was still dressed acceptably in my long manteau (trench coat) and hijab.  Luckily, my sister-in-law gave me a more subdued hijab, as I had only brought brightly coloured ones, which would be inappropriate to wear outside during the holy days of Moharrem.

Even the young girls were wearing hijabs, even though it's only required at age 9:

This girl has a winnie the pooh hijab!

Here's me with some young teens in the village:

Spot the foreigner!

A lot of the women still wore the black chadors inside the house too:

The woman second from the left, who was our hostess, is wearing a house chador which is made of lighter fabric.  Often when women visit another home the hostess will offer one of these house chadors to wear instead of the heavier black chador. 

I even tried one on for fun:

After a little while visiting, the women wanted me to go in another room with them where they were more relaxed. 

They brought out cheetos (regular and crunchy), which they called by name....

(The father operates a convenience store out of part of his house). 

Then they showed me wedding photos and videos of a couple of recent family weddings, which seems to be a common occurrence in these women-only groups.  In the photos the women are unrecognizable because of all the heavy makeup.  They wear Western style dresses with lots of skin showing in the female-only section of the party.

The women were very friendly and eager to try to communicate even though some couldn't speak any English.

As we were leaving, our hostess asked me if in America they say "Death to Iran" like they say "Death to America" in Iran.  That was pretty funny! 

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