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Low Hijaab Participation in Sports

Essay by   •  May 9, 2017  •  Essay  •  1,268 Words (6 Pages)  •  968 Views

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Culture is deep rooted in the civilization of any nation. In fact, the word nation is used to refer to a group of people who share a common language, culture, history, ethnicity and descent. Hence, in this regard, culture happens to be the soul of any nation and provides nations, the reason to make them stand united in hours of need. Culture can be seen as a man made part of the environment. It refers to the accumulation of personal experiences, being experienced by the individuals of a nation. These experiences are then transformed from one generation to another, thus, forming social traditions. Culture includes everything from norms, beliefs and values to family life, marriage, inheritance, language, political system, economic system and dress code, etc.

Dress code forms an integral part of any culture. Culture propels dress code or alternatively, it can also be said that dress code propels culture. This is mainly because of the fact that the dress code of any nation signifies the culture of that nation as the dress code carries a practical as well as symbolic value.

Among the Muslim world, the term Hijab, holds a prominent position. The word is a symbolism of integrity, descent and beliefs, having theological connotations and is a carrier of a whole civilization. Hijab is a word that finds its origin in Arabic language. It is a dress code that is worn by Muslims all across the globe. Hijab is a piece of cloth that is worn by Muslim women in public to cover their head, hence forth, depicting a way of life. It can range from just head covering, hijab, to covering whole of the body, abaya. Mistakenly, it is often assumed that hijab is knitted with Islam, religion followed by Muslims. However, it is interesting to note that hijab is more related to the cultural settings rather than being a religious obligation. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Syria have made it compulsory to wear hijab as a part of their official dress code whereas, countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia have no such restrictions, rather it is left to the will of the individuals to adopt or abandon it. On the contrary, there are countries like Turkey and Tunisia, that have made legislations that restricts the use of hijab in public gatherings including schools, universities and government buildings. Hence, this provides a reasonable base for the argument that hijab is more culturally inscribed than being a religious mandation.

Wearing hijab offers its own pros and cons. This small piece of cloth has been an area that is much debated in recent times in every single corner of this planet. It will not be wrong to say that this dress code has managed to grab attention and has been a source of creating fuss and disturbance for no obvious reasons. The word hijab is having multiple connotations and among the many dimensions, there is an established fact that people who wear hijab participate less in sports.

Sports involve physical activity, usually setted in a competitive environment, aiming at improving the physical capabilities and skills through organized participation while being a source of entertainment for spectators. Today’s world witness a large number and variety of games, ranging from a two participant games to those that involve hundreds of participants, that are either competing in teams or in individual capacity. Each sport have its own certain requirements, may it be the rules of the game or the particular dress code, as in uniform. Perhaps, one of the main reasons for the low hijab participators in sports, is the fact that dress code enjoys an utmost important space in the world of sports, as each sport tends to have a certain prerequisite in terms of the dress code.  For example, soccer players are required to wear shirt and shorts, tennis players have to wear shorts and skirts and same is the case with basketball players and a large number of other sporting events. Hence, it is not difficult to assess that for the hijab wearers it is very difficult to participate in these events because of the strict rules and regulations in terms of the dress code. The world have seen the practical example of such an incident, marking the birth of controversies over hijab in sports, when the Iranian and Jordan women were banned by International Football Federation Association (FIFA), to participate in the 2012 Olympics event at London, simply because their hijab was not in line with the dress code of the event.

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