quiz: who of the above is the real arab?
an article published in the Guardian this week. and here i was thinking that the keffiyeh was some bad melbourne kiddie fashion statement, like the Melbourne shuffle. but no, it is a bad worldwide phenonenon.
” The appeal of keffiyehs in the west grew in the 70s, when they became proof of one’s recent travels down the hippy path in the east and Middle East…. Balenciaga marched right on in there last season, picked up these real souvenirs, wizzed them up on its own sewing machines, and slapped a £750 price tag on them, thereby staying true to the scarf’s original spirit. Really, it’s just a damned shame Yasser couldn’t have waited out three more years because God knows that the one thing this man longed for in life was a scarf that would have set him back three-quarters of a grand, liberation schmiberation. And the fact that the accessory sold out before it even reached the shops proves that the scarf’s original authenticity was always its USP.”
i must admit that I have had my share of bad ethnic headscarves worn in the name of fashion. when i was in tibet in 06 i wore this itchy green and gold traditional peasant women’s headscarf for a bit. i thought i was getting down with the locals, but in a more practical level it bought me a few extra days [sometime weeks] of greasy hair. on return to australia, however, i realised that my lack of hygeine would be discovered so i had to ditch the headscarf and start washing again.
the keffiyah is not a fashion statment, but by the same token i think that wearing a headscarf to protect yourself from the elements in summer in an extremely practical idea. so if you are going to sympathise with yasser and co, then do it properly and fasten it over your crown with a piece of rope.
please feel free to own up to your own ethnic headscarf experiences, and allow us to make some kind of irrational judgement about what type of person you are.