If you where asked to dress modestly while living in Turkey would you do it?
That’s what some women in Gulf countries of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are asking of expatriates to do according to an article in Hurriyet Daily News today.
It is an interesting debate. Should you do go by the adage When in rome…….. or should you remain true to yourself and dress and act as you would at home?
Certainly it is different for those who are just holidaying here in Turkey in the resorts and resort towns most tend to stay in a certain area and are not walking around suburban Turkey dressed in short skirts or with no top on and their belly hanging out (not nice anywhere men come on!).
But what about us expatriates living here in Suburban Turkey should we stick to our guns and say this who we are and this is what we wear or do we try to dress moderately in Turkey and try to integrate, after all we are living in Turkey and shouldn’t we be respecting their culture and their ways??
For me integration is key not only for experiencing life here in Turkey but basic survival. Adapazari is a very strong religious area and apart from the students most people here dress modestly.
It doesn’t mean they are covered up and wearing old Granma’s type clothing. Most dress fashionable but they don’t have flesh hanging out all over the place, they don’t feel the need to have their knickers showing or their breast falling out. Men dress smart be it casual or dressy and I haven’t seen any men’s bellies hanging out not even on the construction sites!
For me to integrate and fit in here wasn’t to hard I wasn’t a low cut, short skirt, make up clad type of girl, but I still adjusted my wardrobe to fit in. A few long skirts, t-shirts and tops that cover more up top but still I have kept a feeling of who I am and my own identity. But I know it’s appreciated have been told a couple of times that I don’t dress how they would expect!
However as it is covered in the article, making dress code a law and forcing people to comply, for me that would be against your human rights to take away the right to dress as you wish. Just as much as we have the right to free speech, we have the right to dress how we like as it is another way of expressing ourselves and showing our individuality.
I know for a lot of people dress is a form of expression and to lose that part of your identity is not an easy one, but I don’t think that is what it’s about it’s about keeping your sense of style while adjusting it to fit with the culture.
Perhaps I am too soft or timid maybe I am not one to stand out from the crowd. But by doing as the romans do I’ve managed to fit in with my community and enjoy life here more than if I stood out like a sore thumb.
So the question is do you do as the romans do??? Do you dress appropriately for your community? Or do you wear what you please and think it is wrong to change no matter where you live?
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