Tolerance, a fading ability, a seeming Blur, seems to be finally warming up in the heat of increasing intolerance, in the twenty first century. That’s encouraging for sure!
It may just be the tip of the iceberg, but hey, that’s what we need to see, to identify the land of hope close to it. Tip the hat, or showing respect in any form, in many cultures, is associated with the head or head gear. Most of the headgear was designed as a symbol of nobility, virginity, weather protection, hair protection, or even skull protection in war.
Maybe I’m generalizing too much, but I’m trying to simplify to a short, easy to remember rule of thumb about headgear between east and west expectations on headgear. (Scroll down to end if you don’t want details).
In the west, most cultures now wear simplified hats for fashion to match the event, outfit, or weather and remove it indoors to show respect. The indoors being air-conditioned, in most parts.
In the east, most cultures continue to wear head gear for functional or symbolic purposes. And since the purpose continues indoors, removal by will or force, is considered disrespectful.
There is a meeting ground in fashion, and if people have migrated, they continue to make changes and assimilate on their own. Dictated expectations cause conflict. The functional purposes are blurry, with air conditioning, but symbolic ones continue on strong in the east, the headgear removed only back in privacy of their own home.
Can the East-West accept each other’s cultural symbolism and use it as a learning opportunity, instead of seeing the head-gear with a presumptuous fear that it may be a mask to hide true identity of the wearer?
Enforcing wearer to remove it indoors to follow a western custom, cannot be done, because it isn’t fashion, it is seen as essential part of clothing, even personality. On the other hand, asking a westerner to start wearing head wraps in the east, would be dishonoring a guest, and I hope it’s never been done.
Summarizing in a couplet form:
“Western head gear, enjoy but tip, remove inside;
Eastern head-wraps, provide protection, wear on with pride.” Thinkinkadia
Video Link: Apr, 2016: Turban Day – A day when anybody wearing a Turban travels for free on the Airport Express in Norway! Beautiful video.