MyWorld: Surreal

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Amidst the women cloaked in black from head to toe and the men strolling the mall in their traditional long white thobes and red and white checkered scarves, I spied this clown walking briskly carrying a couple of shopping bags. Now the mall is ultra modern, and many of the mall customers dress like in the Dark Ages, and then there is this clown strutting through the mall on a shopping trip. It all just felt a tad surreal for me.
In the top right corner of the photo, you can see two babies in a stroller. One baby’s head has been shaved. There is an Islamic basis for this, however from what I have read, the shaving is supposed to be done when the baby is seven days old. In fact, there are several events that should occur on the baby’s seventh day of life. The baby is also supposed to be named and circumcised on that day, and an animal (sheep or goat) is also sacrificed in the baby’s honor. The hair is then to be weighed and its weight in silver is to be given to charity. It’s not a very large donation, I’m guessing!
Obviously this baby is sitting up in the stroller, so it is older than seven days. There are also discrepancies as to whether the shaving should just be performed on just boys, or on girls too. I noticed that my niece’s baby’s head was shaved at least three times that I can remember during his first year of life. I was told that it was to make his hair grow in better.
Well, That’s My World for this week! That’s My World! offers a unique glimpse at life all over our planet. Take a peek at other people’s lives from all over the world by visiting That’s My World!


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Animals, Clothing, Culture, Life, Photo, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Shopping, Tradition and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to MyWorld: Surreal

  1. Briana says:

    That is so completely odd–very good catch! I look forward to participating in this photo meme that I just found.

  2. Chiara says:

    Shaving babies and toddlers heads is done for a variety of reasons: hair growing in better, cooler in summer, more hygienic. Cute kids, cute clown!

  3. Dina says:

    How funny, the clown. How interesting, all the rest!

  4. Beetle B. says:

    Obviously this baby is sitting up in the stroller, so it is older than seven days.

    Well, not all shaving of babies’ heads need be religious. It’s an Islamic custom to do it after 7 days, but Islam doesn’t forbid doing it for other reasons.

    It’s cultural. I know a number of societies that do this, and all have similar reasons: They believe the hair will turn out to be better.

  5. Bill B says:

    My, what a strange, strange world we live in.

  6. Arija says:

    I love the bright clown in this black and white world.
    The world is full of weird rituals, who can understand the where or whyfore of them all?

  7. Fascinating reading about a culture so different to mine—shall visit again!

  8. ewok1993 says:

    You find the most interesting things to blog about in the mall, no matter where you are in the world. Have a great week.

  9. Geogypsy says:

    The clown looks more than a little out of place.

  10. Mel says:

    How incredibly random!! I’ve seen stormtroopers (Star Wars style!) wandering a couple times at West Edmonton Mall, but I think that spotting a clown in the middle of a Jeddah mall would be even more of a shock to the system 🙂

  11. Chiara says:

    I love the composition and colour of this photo. And I find it shows the normalcy of Saudi life–abaya’d mother or not, kids (and adult kids) will be kids and everyone loves a clown–well everyone except my ex-BIL, he was afraid of them as a child.

  12. Jerry M says:

    It the person in the clown suit a small man, a woman or a child?

  13. Carver says:

    This was an interesting post and I love the constrast. The clown would certainly be stand out.

  14. Yes, that would be noteworthy I think in almost any mall, but I am really surprised that you found it there in Jeddah! That’s wild!! Always fun and interesting learning more about the culture there! Always look forward to your posts!



  15. Snap says:

    How interesting! Nice shot, great color. I’d have looked to see the clown no matter where he was! He does look surreal here … space alien? !!!!!!!!

  16. That’s quite a noteworthy spotting indeed! I’d even turn my head to see that clown strut through the Mall of America! Timing is everything – you apparently always have your camera case off and your finger of the “camera trigger.”

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