Reasons why to wear a “ Galabeya = جلابية”
Reasons why to wear a “galabeya= جلابية”
(traditional Egyptian costume)
Tired of wearing your uncomfortable tight jeans? Want to try on something different, elegant but casual? If yes, nothing beats up a “galabeya= جلابية”. Here are some of the reasons why you should change into one:
1- A hot day is a perfect day!
It’s one of those days when it’s hot and humid. You have to go out to do errands but at the same time you’re not in the mood for your jeans or shorts. You suddenly think of your fellow Egyptians and how smart they are for choosing a traditional outfit like a “galabeya= جلابية”. It’s comfortably loose fitting, made of cotton and it comes in white. No clothes can be caring about your body, and its comfort, on a sunny hot day more than a galabeya.
I have a lot of foreign friends and students in Egypt who just prefer to put on their galabeyas when they go out. They even buy some as souvenirs for their families and friends. In fact,I was told the secret about galabeyas by some of my foreign friends who discovered how comfortable wearing them is. Some of my Egyptian friends, too, tell me that on weekends, they like to change into their galabeyas and relax and bring back the good old days.
2- Variety of styles and colors!
The style of the Egyptian galabeyas varies from one area to another. There is the northern cities galabeya, the Bedouin one, the upper Egyptian and others. For men, the gallabeyas usually come in solid colors and sometimes they have vertically striped patterns. For women, the galabeyas have irresistibly beautiful bright colors and flowery patterns. So you can have a whole new wardrobe of galabeyas. You can also boost your look by wearing a “emma عمة=” for men ( a scarf wrapped on top of the head to form some sort of a hat) or a “tarhaطرحة=” for women ( a light scarf worn over the head).
3- The coolest outfit for a party!
You’re invited to a friend’s housewarming party and thinking about what to wear? Simply, put on your favorite galabeya and you’ll look special. As a matter of fact, you can throw your own “cool” galabeya party and be the one who introduces this funky Egyptian theme to your family and/or friends.
4- A resemblance of originality and authenticity:
The galabeya has been carrying the sensation of Egyptian culture and tradition throughout hundreds of years. Although, it’s getting less popular now, as a result of globalization and cross-culture effect, you can still see a lot of people – especially in rural areas and villages- who still respect and admire their traditional costume and are keen on maintaining their Egyptian identity. So, if you want to try how it feels to be Egyptian, jump into a galabeya and take a pleasant walk around the streets of Egypt.
In the end, Not only foreigners who tell me beautiful and interesting stories about wearing galabeyas. Some of my Egyptian friends, too, tell me that on weekends, they like to change into their galabeyas and relax and bring back the good old days. Some also put on galabeyas when they’re visiting their hometowns and feel that they’re part of this culture again. You too can have your own stories to tell about your experience with trying on galabeyas.
By: Naheed Nada
IH Cairo Teacher