Do you find yourself spending large chunks of your day scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram news feeds? Are you getting bored of watching movie after movie on Netflix all day? Are you itching to pick up a new hobby? If you answered yes to any of these questions (or any other question that sound remotely similar), maybe it’s time to do something new… something TOTALLY new! Here are some hijab-friendly activities you probably didn’t think of getting your hands on but really should.
Hijab-Friendly Activities You Never Thought of Doing
If you’ve thought about doing martial arts but don’t want to bruise your knuckles while attempting a jab at someone, fencing could be the answer for you! It’s a sport that advocates speed, agility, sharpness in thinking and grace… you might just pick up some dance moves as you learn how to catch your opponent off guard in order to score a point – using a sword, no less! The best thing is that the fencing attire has already got you covered from head to toe. All that’s left is for you to wear an inner or a sports hijab to complete your look J Take lessons from Ibtihaj Mohammad, the first American Olympic athlete to wear the hijab!
Remember that one time in the movie Titanic, when Rose told Jack to hold onto her dress while they were at a party, and she started to lift her heels up till her entire body was supported only by her toes? Or remember that many times when you watched commercials of Swan Lake, and just wished you could also do a split in mid-air while your body is in a perfect posture? You could do all these and more through ballet J It is, to me, an unparalleled combination of body control, discipline and elegance. I’m sure that you could work a sweat within 15 minutes with all the leaps and splits! Although most ballerinas wear a sleeveless leotard, it is possible to make the dancewear hijab-friendly by attaching long sleeves, a hijab and a slightly longer tutu J Just take a look at Stephanie Kurlow, an Australian Muslim convert who wants to be the world’s first hijab-wearing professional ballerina.
- Spoken Word Poetry
Got a knack for words? Spoken word poetry is not just a recitation of poems, it is an amalgamation of wordplay, emotions and reflection through the use of the human voice. I think it already takes a lot of courage to stand in front of a crowd, but to confront them with pieces of yourself that you’ve woven into your poem, and to present your work in a way that is candid and impactful requires boldness and confidence – two things you may already have or wish to see more of in yourself J Many spoken word artists also use the stage as a platform to raise awareness on social issues. So if you’ve got a cause that you’re passionate about, write about it and think about performing it at poetry slams that are regularly organised across the country. It is also a great medium for dakwah. Follow the footsteps of Yasmin Zaini, for example, who performed at Recite SG’s Speak for Syria – a spoken word event that raised funds for humanitarian NGO BAPA that serves Syrian refugees in the Middle East – and also made an appearance on TV AlHijrah’s Into Taqwa with MIzz Nina.
- Scuba Diving
So you’re a lover of the sea and the thought of swimming with the fishes excites you… then scuba diving is one thing you absolutely have to try! I have to admit, when I went underwater for the first time two years ago in Tulamben on the north-east coast of the Indonesian island of Bali, I was very scared. I had to remind myself many times that I had to breathe through my mouth, not my nose, and that I was being held onto by my instructor. I had a ball of a time waddling around a shipwreck site, interjecting schools of fishes and spotting a manta ray. Scuba diving helps you develop mind and body control. And your hijab would be a great tool to keep your hair in place underwater, so that you can pay attention on the beauty that find down there! Malaysian Ras Adiba Radzi puts her wheelchair aside when she’s scuba diving because in her words, “The sea does not discriminate.” J
Ras Adiba Radzi does not only scuba dive, she also represented her country as a sharpshooter in the 2015 ASEAN Para Games. This is a sport that requires extreme concentration and precision, so I would say that it does a lot to inculcate focus and stability. There are several shooting ranges around Singapore if you would like to give this a shot, such as the Singapore Gun Club at Old Choa Chu Kang Road. There is also one at SAFRA Yishun. The great thing about this hijab-friendly sport is that your long sleeves could act as a protective gear if you are afraid of getting too close to the rifle J Perhaps one day, you’ll be as great a shooter as Qatari Olympic athlete Bahya Mansour Al-Hamad!
What other unique hijab-friendly activities can you think of?