Grandpa's hat

In Attire

My Grandparents immigrated to the United States from Pakistan in the early 1980’s because they wanted to secure a better future for themselves and their family. Even though I was very young when my Grandfather passed away one thing that I remember clearly is his traditional hat that he always wore. I don’t remember a day where he did not wear it. They were white rounded hats that he brought with him when he came here and it fit him perfectly. They are known as a “Kufi,” they can vary in colors and style and are usually handmade and sometimes even have embroidered mirrored designs on them. It can be worn as an everyday clothing article or as a prayer hat and he wore it as both to keep his religious and cultural ideals alive. He always used to tell me that maintaining culture when moving to the United States was very tough because there is this sense of culture shock and adjusting to a new community was difficult but you have to maintain your identity and where you came from. At first I saw it just as an ordinary hat but he saw it as something greater it made him feel secure and gave him a sense of hope. To my grandfather the kufi represented religious freedom as well as individuality. He would wear it on a daily basis and to me it was a sign of devotion to culture and tradition which evidently taught me that we should not be afraid to express ourselves and look different and we should stay true to ourselves and who we are.

Year: 1980

– Areej

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant