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White and black world

  I always thought that the world outside the window was colorful and ever-changing. Looking up the words in the dictionary, big world, feasting, mottled, rolling red dust, etc., it seems that the world should and must be like this. But when I came to Yemen for the first time, I realized that the world can be so monotonous that it can only accommodate two colors. Walking on the ancient streets of Sana’a, the capital, watching the man in white robe with a sharp knife pass me by, and the back of the woman in black looming behind the carved window in the distance, I seem to have returned to the one thousand and one nights. In the dream, a world of black and white, a world that only belongs to camel bells, deserts and knights.
  
  Men’s Skirts You
  
  ca n’t find a nation as white-loving as the Arabs. Walls, streets, mosques, minarets, everything is lovely as long as it is stained with white. In particular, men’s robes should be mentioned. In Yemen, a strange phenomenon is that men wear skirts and women wear trousers. Men’s skirts are mostly white. Northerners like to wear a kind of robe with a small stand-up collar that drags all the way to the feet. This robe is called “Shaobo”; while the southerners prefer a short skirt called “Maawaz”. It is a piece of white cloth, wrapped around the waist, and then put on a scarf. Whether it is “Sao Bo” or “Ma Ah Waz”, Yemeni men wear a wide belt around their waists, and then wear a silver or gold waist knife. Today, this kind of attire has become a symbol of Yemen. TV videos, screen advertisements, etc., as long as it is a program that introduces Yemen, a man in traditional clothes will definitely appear.
  Of course, Yemeni men are not required to wear skirts on formal occasions such as government offices, hospitals, and schools. They also have to wear suits and ties, but in their spare time, they will still prepare a white skirt, take off their suits, and put on Relax in a white dress. But in weddings, evening parties, especially the weekly Juma day gatherings and weekdays at home, robes are an essential attire. Especially on Juma Day, when men go to the mosque to worship, you will see men in threes and threes everywhere on the street, dressed in clean white robes, walking to the mosque holding hands and talking and laughing.
  
  woman’s black robe
  
  When it comes to the Arab world, the word mystery always reminds us. Because everything about it is half-hidden and half-present, and has never really been understood by us. Its land is slumbering surrounded by deserts and seas, its culture walks under the shroud of prophets and Revelation (Koran), and even the beauty of women is hidden in a black veil. To talk about the origin of the Arab woman’s veil, we have to mention the Quran, which is regarded as a book by the Arabs. The book says that women’s hair is forbidden and cannot be easily exposed. Therefore, the most basic method is to cover the hair with a black “sari” (turban). But in Yemen, because it is one of the most conservative countries, women here not only have to wear “sari” to cover their hair, but also wear a veil called “Burg”, which hangs from the forehead to the chest. , with two thin straps tied behind his head, revealing only his eyes. In the old city of Sana’a, I even saw all the masked women, even their eyes were covered with black veils, flashing past me like ghosts.
  Except for the “Sari” and “Burg” on the head, the clothing on Arab women is black robes. In Yemen, this black robe is called “Bali Tao”, which covers people from the neckline to the ankles. Because in the eyes of Arabs (especially conservative countries such as Yemen and Saudi Arabia), women are weak and need protection. At the same time, she is the private product of her husband, and her body cannot be seen by outsiders. Therefore, there is something similar to a rain cover called “Barri Peach”. In institutions, schools, and even entertainment venues, Yemeni women wear this black robe to work with men.
  When I first arrived, I was very disgusted with this black veil, especially when I saw the rule that international students should also wear “Ballita” in class, I was even more indignant. Several times I tried to take it off and walked out of the gate of Sana’a University, but I found that the pedestrians around me were looking at me sideways, and if I was unlucky, I would encounter street teenagers watching. From the inquisitive eyes they stared up at me, I felt like an alien. After a few setbacks, my spirit was greatly reduced by half, so I had to follow the local customs and wear a black “Ballie Peach”.
  
  Black and White Reversed
  
  I came to this world of only black and white from the colorful Beijing, and my vision was too monotonous. At the same time, because men’s white robes are too bulky and flamboyant, and women’s black gauze and black robes are too strict and mysterious, as a woman, I can’t help but sigh at the injustice of women in this world.
  However, when I put on “Ballie Peach” and gradually walked into this world of black and white, I found that it was another world of “black and white reversed”.
  It is said that the black gauze and black robe of Arabia cover all the charm of women, but under the black gauze and black robe, there is another gorgeous style hidden. Not long after I arrived at Sana’a University, I was invited to a party organized by the medical school. Before I went, I deliberately changed into a long-reaching dress I brought from China in the dormitory, and as usual, I covered the outside with what I call a school uniform “Bally Peach”. However, what I never expected was that as soon as I stepped into the party hall, I was greeted by a colorful world – all the Arab girls were wearing a bare-chested evening dress, red, blue, yellow, Green, bejeweled, with almost no shadow of black. They also wore heavy makeup on their faces, and the blue eyeliner delineated the already deep eyes very charmingly, full of a strong Gulf style. When I approached them, I found that some of the girls also had a black tattoo-like tattoo drawn on their arms, extending from their little fingers to their big arms and shoulders. Iman, a girl in my dormitory, came over and helped me to take off the “Bali Tao”, while telling me that this kind of tattoo is a unique local dress in Yemen, called “Narosh”, which is a girl with ingenuity. It takes at least an hour for one arm to paint with dye and brush stroke by stroke!
  Just like domestic shopping malls, on the most prosperous streets in Yemen, the largest shops are often the places that sell women’s products. . Unlike in China, the women’s shops here mainly sell cosmetics and underwear. Cosmetics are almost concentrated from brands from all over the world, from China’s Olay to Japan’s Estee Lauder powder, from France’s Biotherm to South Korea’s DODO makeup, it can be said that everything is available. The most dazzling place is the underwear counter, which displays a dazzling array of styles. The styles are novel and bold, the workmanship is exquisite and exquisite, and the colors are bright and beautiful. Even an international student like me was stunned.
  During the day, there are very few pedestrians in the street market, but at night it is a different scene: the bustling night market, the bustling crowd, the colorful neon lights hang all the buildings, and every window lattice is radiating dazzling light, which makes the city look brighter. The monotony and silence of the day were swept away. On the way to the market, it is necessary to take a crowded minibus, but women will never worry about not having a seat, because when they get on the bus, people consciously avoid an aisle and follow the “ladies first” rule. A few times when I was in the car, the car was full of people, but as soon as I got in the car, a strange man immediately stood up and offered my seat for me. If the car is crowded, the man will get off and change to another car. At first I thought it was Yemenis who treated me as a “foreigner” with respect and friendliness, but later I found out that all women enjoy this kind of treatment. This really puzzles me, because Arab countries are recognized by many foreigners as a society where men are superior to women, and many places still retain polygamy. In remote mountain villages, some men can even marry four wives. When I was studying at the Second Foreign Language School in Beijing, the teacher teased us more than once in class, “You don’t know how proud it is to be a man until you arrive in an Arab country!” He also said that the white skirt of an Arab man is a symbol of happiness, and the black robe of an Arab woman is a sign of misfortune. But how can I explain the situation in front of me? It seems that happiness and unhappiness cannot be determined by a single coat.

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