Malaysiakini Opinion

Hijab under the disco lights

Published on  |  Modified on

COMMENT | My first experience dancing in a nightclub was back in 1993. It was at the Blue Moon, Equatorial Penang. I was 18. And I was still wearing my hijab.

My friend Lynda whom I shared a dorm with at YWCA Penang while I was studying at a private college on the island, was moving to the US and all the girls from the same floor decided to throw her a farewell party.

I remember feeling uncomfortable when everyone agreed to have the party at a nightclub.

"You girls go ahead. I think I shall not join the party," I said.

"Why are you not coming dear?" asked Dorothy, a retired clerk, one of the eldest at YWCA at the time.

"I don’t think I should go to a nightclub. I feel a nightclub would be a wrong place for someone wearing a ‘tudung’ like me," I explained.

"Do you want to come?" asked Catherine, a 50-something senior nurse at a private hospital who lived in one of the single rooms next to my dorm.

“I’d very much like to because I have never been to one. I am just afraid I would be out of place and people would stare…” I said.

“Don’t be silly, Fa! Nobody cares about your 'tudung',” said Dorothy, brushing my shoulders.

I still remember the last hour before we left our dorm for Blue Moon that evening, I was taking extra time putting on my hijab, looking at myself on the mirror, when Lynda stood next to me...