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  1. Qatar: One of Us campaign

    • Doha News posted this piece to encourage expatriates to dress modestly and well, there’s been a huge uproar from people.
    • In related news, is this Emirati movement to encourage similar behavior from tourists.
    • And then there’s the Israeli President who thinks no bikinis.equals(no tourism) here.

    Believe me when I say I get the whole freedom to wear whatever you want thing. I live in North America and sport a piece of religious headgear which is often the subject of much debate. I’m all for letting people dress however they want.

    But what about tourism and every country having their own special “thing”? If you’ve heard of Bhutan, you’ve likely heard of their PDPS (Public Display of Phallic Symbols). If not, you can read about them here, here, and here. NSFW, obvi.

    Traditionally, locals of Bhutan believe these phallic paintings prevent them from the evil eye. In other societies, phallic paintings like these are frowned upon. But to the Bhutanese, it’s their culture. So should they get rid of their culture because it offends tourists? I don’t think so.

    We’re in danger of becoming a very large, global, melting pot of a world that eradicates any and all trace of culture and traditions. So… basically, we’d have the exact same people, buildings, cultures, etiquettes in every single country. There would be no diversity and traveling would completely lose its charm.

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Traveling across the globe and expecting to live/eat/drink/sun bathe the same way as you do at home is akin to going to Italy and never having any pasta. It’s all part of the flavor of a new land. Part of the experience.

    Can not wearing a bikini in public beaches in the gulf countries be part of an experience in countries like Qatar and UAE? I say “public”, because I know for a fact that gulf countries are big on private beaches + resorts. And you’re more than welcome to wear or do whatever you please there.

    You can follow along the Twitter account for the One of Us campaign here.