Transformations of Somali Women’s Mode of Dress from Somalia to the Minnesota Diaspora: Identity and Choice through Conflict, Religion, and Immigration
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If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email email@example.com to request access to this SIP.My interest in Somali culture and Muslim dress have stemmed from a wide variety of sources over the last three years of my life. I spent two of my summers off from school at Kalamazoo College working for refugee organizations where I was in contact with Somali communities in Minnesota and Texas. In 2010, I worked for the International Institute of Minnesota aiding the WELCOME program that provided services to newly resettled refugees and asylees. I worked closely with casework managers and other interns to provide support through referrals to services and professionals, as well as helping out refugees with real-life skills such as getting library cards, using ATMs, learning to ride city buses to get to English classes and work, and contacting their landlords for rent and home repairs. In 2011, I worked in Austin, Texas with an organization called Interfaith Action of Central Texas, where I taught ESL (English as a Second Language) classes Downtown Austin and at various apartment complexes where refugees lived around the area. Through these experiences, I met a wide variety of people from all over the world, including many Somalis. My study abroad really spurred my interest in Muslim dress culture. In 2010, I spent six months living in Dakar, Senegal with a Muslim host family, where I was introduced to a wide range of dress in a predominately Muslim country. The clothing worn by the Muslims in Senegal and the Muslims in the Somali Diaspora are very different and I was interested in the factors that played into different Muslim clothing cultures.