Sunday, February 11, 2018

Learning the Language of Tolerance: Hats of Faith

Faith comes in different shapes, manifestations and hats too. In a very well-targeted and smartly written book, Medeia Cohan makes an admirable overview of the main ways in which faith can be read by only looking at the headwear. Especially when you are living in a multicultural, multi-faith world and society, it is useful to learn to distinguish between different external manifestations of faith not in order to build walls and inspire fears, but for a mutual understanding.
'Learning about each other makes it easy to be more understanding. Being understanding helps us spread love and peace'. Of course in the everyday life it is not very easy to follow this motto, but a good basis can be laid down through a positive behavior and learning. 
The book was elaborated following consultation and direct advice from people from many different faiths, and I am sure it was quite difficult to find out only one and only manifestation of faith to be put into the story. For instance, I will rather say that many Orthodox Jewish women wear nowadays a sheitel - wig, instead of tichel as said in the book -, but the tichel is the exterior way easily recognizable of a headwear among Jewish women, especially from someone from outside the community. 
Diplomatically, the wording choice after indicating a specific head covering is 'which many - fill it with the representative of the faith - wear', that greatly solves dilemma and controversial intepretations. 
Hats of Faith is a really useful book, recommended especially for schools in multi-ethnic and multi-faith communities, but in fact that could be read to every child, regardless if part of a mixed background or not. We are all living in a diverse world, and we better try to understand it before swimming deep into the sea of stereotypes and misunderstandings.

Rating: 5 stars
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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