Bild: Esim Karakuyu
My headscarf and I: four women explain why they wear it, and how they deal with daily racism.

Translation by Curran Egan, Canada

(Bild: Huda Edelbrock)
Huda Edelbrock, 21, from Bielefeld: "The Headscarf gives me self-confidence."

For me, the headscarf is above all a service to God, as it is written in the Koran. Additionally, it gives me self-confidence. At the same time, I make a feminist statement with my head-scarf: women are not only defined by outward appearances. My acquaintances often react negatively, and at first I often doubted myself because of this. In school, for example, a classmate often called me “Turban Tussi.” On the other hand, I have often been asked how I tie my headscarf – it looks so nice. That totally made me happy. And regardless of what the reactions are, positive or negative, everything strengthens me in what I do.

(Bild: Yasmin Nahhass)
Yasmin Nahhass, 20, from Krefeld: "I felt naked."

The headscarf is a part of my faith, but I also see something feminist in it: in the media, women are often reduced to an object of sexual desire – I wanted to prevent that. I wanted people to take my inner value seriously, and consider that first of all.

Not everyone likes it: at a presentation on the theme “Revolution in the Middle East,” I was looking for a place in front of the stage. Suddenly, a man stood up and yelled in my direction: we’re not in Saudi Arabia here, and my headscarf doesn’t belong here – women in Saudi Arabia are stoned over that. In that moment, I was speechless. I felt completely revealed and would like to have cried. But then some friends said, they would alert the police if he didn’t sum up. That helped. Fortunately, I have only experienced such a thing once.

(Bild: Selda Isik)
Selda Isik, 28, Dortmund: "The headscarf is just a piece of clothing."

My parents weren’t excited about my idea, but despite that I have worn a headscarf since ninth grade. Out of religious conviction. I had already warned some of my classmates, so they reacted calmly. One teacher, however, looked grim. I was nevertheless proud of my decision and of my self-determination.

In my psychology studies, people often openly opposed me. Perhaps it was because I am go about in it quite openly. In my daily routine, I often forget about my headscarf, the assumptions and prejudices of others. The headscarf is for me just a piece of clothing, no more important than a pullover or a pair of pants.

(Bild: Esim Karakuyu)
Esim Karakuyu, 23, from Karlsruhe: "My headscarf gives me self-confidence."

With my headscarf, I take for myself the freedom to be free. My headscarf grants me a fighting spirit and self-confidence. It is also a simple, free act of faith. Amongst my acquaintances, however, I have unfortunately experienced a lot of discrimination. Once, a couple of days before starting a practicum, I received a phone call: they had changed their mind [about me], because they didn’t want a trainee with a headscarf. I wouldn’t take it off for the practicum. So they said that I am an Islamist and should probably break off my pedagogic studies. With such an attitude, I would never for a job. With that, I was very confused. Fortunately, my fellow students helped me look for other practicum positions, and my instructor personally helped me. I found that great: it gives me hope.”

bento is a new website for millennials in Germany. This is our very first translation. Thanks to Curran Egan from Canada.