Behind the Veil

Although wearing a head scarf, or burugaa, is a personal choice, it is illegal for women to cover their faces in Maldives. However, you occasionally see women who are completely covered in black. What are the police going to do, give them a ticket?

When I pass these women in the street I make a special effort to look into their eyes. Maybe I am hoping for some insight as to what prompted them to make this choice. I quickly realize that they are looking me in the eye and, perhaps, wondering the same thing about me.
As for the burugaa, it has been widely adopted only in the past few years. The theory is that you don’t want any men to look upon your hair, except for your father, brothers and husband.