Full Hijab on Metro Stairs {Paris Photo}


Full Hijab on Metro Stairs © 2015 Chantal-Hélène Wagner

While it is more and more common to see women wearing hijabs in Paris, spotting a woman wearing a full hijab - there wasn't even a mesh, so "burqa" is not the appropriate term - is a rare sight...

What struck me, aside from the general sense of contrast she projected set against her surroundings, was the contrast of her good, sensible, practical and rather masculine shoes, with her less-than-practical veil, as it is meant to be a religious symbol.

Within Europe, it is actually illegal to wear a full covering of your face in the public space in France and in Belgium, be it with a veil or a cagoule. The face has to be visible.

To me, an integral veil like this is probably used to express religious fervor by pushing the symbolism even beyond what is requested usually since the eyes are not even guessed at through a mesh.

As the woman tried to orient herself and carry all three bags at once to an unknown destination, her efforts were made more obvious by her dark, dramatic, and seemingly "blind" silhouette.

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