Thursday, 25 August 2016

How we live, yesterday and today

Reading The Golden Bough, as Gerald Brenan did when he was living in an isolated and backward village in the south of Spain, serves to remind us that there is nowt as queer as folk.  The current stramash about 'burkinis' is best viewed from the perspective of anthropology.  Tribes delineate themselves in various ways, including prohibitions and prescriptions regarding behaviour and dress.  There is a strictly-policed code, for instance, for dress at the race meeting at Ascot attended by the Queen. What we see going on in France seems to me more a case of confused identity and a clash of cultures rather than a question of 'rights' - religious or otherwise.  Is there a passage in the Koran that suggests that covering all or part of oneself up if you are a woman is a prequisite of piety? I suspect it is more to do with nationality and custom.

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