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CARIBBEAN: ‘Hijab’ carnival costume stirs intense debate in Antigua

By Antigua Observer

front-pic-costume-customANTIGUA OBSERVER – A fiery debate erupted on social media over the weekend, after popular mas’ band Insane Carnival released photographs of the costumes for a section of its 2017 Carnival troupe.

Several users communicated their disapproval with what appeared to be a representation of a hijab — a head scarf worn by Muslim women — in Insane’s “Persia” costumes.

One user on Twitter said, “It’s something of religious and cultural significance. How can you put it on a carnival costume?”

Other users on Facebook and Twitter lamented the controversy that the costume would cause to the country.

A user from Barbados tweeted “It’s already started … It making rounds across UK Twitter.”

The reaction from the public caused Insane Carnival to release a statement yesterday, on Facebook, in justification of the costume selection.

According to Insane Carnival, the head scarf was not intended to portray Islamic symbols but elements of Persian culture.

“The costume is depicting elements of the Persian people who at first were nomads of the desert, nomads living under those conditions would often cover their heads and much of their face to protect them from the elements.”

They also said that while conducting their research, they found no correlation between the head covering and religion.

“The Persians would later build a great dynasty and the tradition of wearing a head scarf remained. The Persians, during that era, practiced the religion Zoroastrianism and our research found no association of the head scarf to their religion.”

However, former director of Culture Heather Doram warned that designers must be sensitive when depicting the culture of others.

“I think an artist should be sensitive. We should be sensitive about what you’re using, what you’re wearing, if you’re taking it from somebody else’s culture. I don’t know about being controversial when you’re using someone’s religion, but if they said that’s not what it is, I don’t see the problem,” Doram said in an OBSERVER media interview.

When she was asked how practical the wearing of a head scarf would be on the road, Doram said that they are worn across the region.

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3 comments

  1. Carnival is of evil concept..the word carnival derive from cannibal..for the eating and lusting of flesh..hence why those hypocrites dress barely nude sometimes just a rope passing in their futt bodar exposing their naked bodies,somany of us can't see nothing wrong with it because they drink the alcohol to alter their minds.....what i find more disgusting is they parade in front of the young kids,explicit dancing...backshot,frontshot and they dont care less.kids are very easily influence cuz they see their mom like a vagabond hoe and think its the norm...it only gets worse as the years go by...these are the same mofo,s that oppress VYBZ KARTEL when he simply gives you the same thing in a dancehall style.the world is a vicious cycle...afterall i think its a total disrespect when you invite god and the devil in the same party.

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  2. This is a disrepectful slap in the face to those of faith.

    Tourists everywhere should boycott Antigua for their disgraceful behaviour

    Hurtful to all of us. How dare they disrespect Cod.

    No surprise. Caribbean countries too often disrepect certain faiths yet we still fund businesses there and invest in their citizenship.

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    • that not no slap in face. the people well said it is depicting persian culture and not islamic plus they gave all the reason why the persians where wearing the scaf. its not only yall muslims that wear clothes like that and for religious purposes. yall to fast.

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