Things I learnt this week

It is entirely likely that I am learning more than my students. Just this week I have picked up some unknown tidbits that serve me well when we sit down en famille to dinner each now. I am greeted with raised eyebrows, nods, hmmms and even a few “wows”.

Observant Muslim men cannot wear gold. None. So there goes the big fat gold rolex stereotype you may have had a hunch about. No one could really tell me why this it, there were a few murmurs about blood, an anecdote or two about the prophet, but no exact reason was given. Women on the other hand can wear as much gold as they want. As such, it is considered highly feminine if an Arab man wears gold and you will never see a man here wearing a gold wedding ring.

Observant Muslim men can also not wear silk! I must confess that in this subject my students also did not have any concrete reasons, however I was assured that some forego this rule in order to slip on a nice Hermes tie.

Perfume is highly important here, not simply as a way to smell good, or if we are to believe the highly raunchy ads displayed in western magazines, to attract a mate; but as a means of personal definition. There is skill involved in the combining of perfumes to create one definite and individual smell that will be admired by other women. It is an art and one that takes much practice. When I asked my girl students if my daughter should be wearing perfume. they were aghast that at the age of 14 Trooper had yet to be shown the art and delights of personal perfumery. According to one delightful 17 year old student, her mother had been spraying her since she was in the 2nd grade!

In other news I would like to mention that today is Friday and it is my weekend. So when you crawl from your bed to your sofa and pop in a DVD on Sunday morning as I am already teaching my second class, remember that my Friday was your Sunday. No, I am not yet used to this.


Filed under Miss Teacher, observations

3 responses to “Things I learnt this week

  1. i cant explain the silk either but with regard to gold, men should shower their wives with their bounty and hence the splurging on gold. wedding rings/bands are seen as part of western culture and so many choose not to adorn such. truth is many observing muslim males wont have jewelry on the whole so it isnt that unusual. piety is stressed in islam and wearing jewelry can be seen as anything else but that.

    if i ever get a logical/proper clarification on the silk i will try to holler back at ya.

  2. Ali

    Good to hear that people smell fragrant – now that’s a reason to be cheerful 🙂

  3. Erika McDonald

    Thanks for sharing this experience. I know I am filled with ignorance and prejudice when it comes to the Arab culture.
    I know that here in HK it is popular to collect watches as an investment. One reason not to wear them is that to keep a high value on your investment things shall be in pristine condition. There are special boxes to display your collection of Rolex, Omega or whatever you are collecting. Keep posting!

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