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Iia na. rosn ita@aquila-media.com
Photography Sadtoto Prasetio



Lilies Wang
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IiIies.wang@aquila-media.com EDITORIAL Editor-at-Large Jelte ten Holt jel te.tenholt@aquila-media.com Contributing Sub Editor Brad Bertrand

Rebecca Marsauli

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bra d. bert ra n d@aquila-media.com Contributing Sub Editor Patricea Chow-Capodieci

by MANGO. Black polyurethane biker jacket by Forever 21. Belt by Avenue. Oliver People glasses from Optik Melawal Strappy platfol ms by Ascobat Reza Gilded three-finger ring by Forever 21. Monqolian fur hat
stylist's own

patricea.chow@aquila-media.com Fashion Editor Vindriana Meirin

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Ustadz Tengku



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Growing pains are something that all of us have to go through. They can be a very confusing time, bringing about a roller-coaster ride of emotions. And yes, as parents, we have to experience them as part of our children's growth process. By Adline A Ghani.
RAISING A TEENAGER COMES with its fair share is a bewildering

tech toys were invented.


Romeo and Juliet listen to their parents? Not a chance-and there was not a gadget in sight.

According to parenting expert Eileen Hayes, the transition from child to adult is a time of upheaval. Teens go through spurts of change that and intellectual

physical, emotional

of anxiety. After all, adolescence

time, not just for the teen, but for the grownups involved, too. For most parents, it is a rude awakening. One day you are inseparable from the 'apple of your eye', and the next he or she is resisting being seen with you in public. Rest assured that you are not the first parent to feel like you cannot get along with your kid anymore -never mind trying to understand each other.

cause confusion, awkwardness When you throw in controlling outcome is not always pretty. Nura from Singapore

and embarrassment. parents, the As 14-year-old

puts it, 'Parents just don't

understand!' No parent gets through the teenage years without experiencing conflicts with their child, but the way to survive is to first understand the many challenges Peer Pressure in raising a teenager.

To make things worse, many oftoday's constantly of modern daughter's being distracted living. Commenting

teens are


to Dr Heidi M Sallee, Assistant Professor of their peers that they might the way they their decisions. others to influence

by the conveniences on her 16-year-old

of Pediatrics at Saint Louis University, teenagers are so conscious do anything look to allowing to fit in, from changing

tech habits, Azlinda from Malaysia says,

'The more she gets into Facebook, handphones and iPods, the harder it is for me to talk to her!' But is technology been struggling really to blame? Parents have with their teens since long before

As a parent, you have got to accept that at some point in your child's life, the opinions of his or her peers will outweigh yours. Before you start judging





McGraw, it is important for parents to set rules, because teens need them to live by. Do monitor the content they access online, and restrict the use of phones and the television after a certain hour. It is also natural to feel nervous about things like dating and driving, but before you allow these liberties, lay the ground rules. Adikara, a father of three from Indonesia, has the right idea. 'My kids must always tell me exactly where they're going, who they're with and what time I can expect them home.' Dr Phil echoes these sentiments. Teens should know that their parents trust them, but if they break that trust, it will have to be regained. Until then, they will have to enjoy fewer privileges. Conclusion Reading books on parenting teens is a great way to learn how to anticipate what is coming and cope with issues. Besides books, experts recommend opening the lines of communication as early as possible. Keep those lines open not only by talking to your teen, but by listening. Dr Phil says that this may mean resisting the urge to nag or dispense advice. Deep down, your teen is seeking your approval, so if you are quick to passjudgement, your teen might decide to shut you out Although teens need their space, parents still need to be involved their child's life. Let them experience your support, encouragement and love. As AIBukhari and Muslim have stated, 'Each one of you is a shepherd, and each one of you is responsible for his flock.' Accordingly, as a parent, you must be a nurturing, positive and reliable influence in your child's life. Teenagers look to their parents to instil confidence in themselves, as well as to find something that they can believe in. Last, but not least, set appropriate expectations for your child. Dr Phil says that expectations that are too high will make teens unhappy, but no expectations will make them feel that you do not care. Malaysian psychologist Paul Jambunathan also reminds parents that they are responsible for moulding their children's self esteem, so resist comparing them to others. The aim, of course, is to raise responsible, communicative and independent young adults, so no matter how hard the teen years get, do not give up. Just keep in mind this mantra by Dr Sallee: Go through it together, come out of it together. [iI

your child, however, think twice. According to Dr Nadine Kaslow, professor of psychiatry at Emory University, parents must choose their battles. Your kid wants to shock you, but if it is harmless it is better to let it be. Dr Kaslow recommends saving the objections for things that can cause real harm, like smoking, sex or drugs. Rebellion Rebellion is a way for teens to assert their independence, but as painful as it can be, parents must remember that it is normal for kids to pull away at this age. When teens become rebellious, parents should evaluate the amount of room they are giving their child. According to Dr David Elkind, author of All Grown Up and No Place to Go, it is crucial for parents to give their teen some leeway. Ask yourself these questions: Do you listen to your teen? How much do you control them? How would you react if your child's opinions and tastes differ from yours? Setting Limits Giving teens some leeway and respecting their privacy is not the same thing as letting them run wild. According to celebrity psychologist Dr Phil







As with other forms of art, fashion is highly contextual. Widen your understanding of current events by taking a look at trends of the past. By Adline A Ghani.

1. A colourful and boldly-patterned munisak robe with an exaggerated bellshaped hip design






a Muslim woman generate

times. These days, over what she's you

we tend to forget that in regions closer to home, Muslim women's no less interesting women's anything, fashions have been look for, if value. or 'intense'. Asian Muslim and cultural

in a headscarf or veil can

more controversy

wearing than, say, Lady Gaga. Whether

fashions deserve another their historical

live in the East or the West, the fact remains that some people view the hijab as a symbol of subjugation and oppression. This, of

The Munisak Geography

and Paranja

course, contradicts

a hijabi's own perspective. and climate have always played Muslim women's true in Central as well as to an essential part in defining fashions. This was certainly Asia where clothing to stand up to the elements, idea sitting. typically In 19th century teamed

She likely views the piece of cloth over her head or face as a form of liberation against objectification. age, and technology barriers and creating of modesty, We may be smack may be bridging a global society, but can dab in the middle of the the information

needed to be robust

allow for horse riding and cross-legged Central Asia, women such as inner garments,

when it comes to a Muslim woman's cultures and opinions collide, often in an unflattering


a tunic and a pair of baggy trousers, with outer garments such as a robe, so they were able to move freely while staying covered.

That a simple piece of cloth can shape such strong opposing attitudes is bizarre. But that is precisely what can happen as soon as fabric acquires a third dimension on the human body. This is the reason, perhaps, that Islam outlines appropriate its teachings politeness. women have enhanced the principles and refined humility and of and modest dressing, and that towards

the human disposition Qur'an to find guidelines

One needs only to turn to the on how Muslim is

should dress. One such example

the Surah al-Ahzab verse 59, which states:


Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters of the believers to bring [part] of their outer

and the women garments.

down over themselves

That is more suitable that they and Merciful. Many of the robes worn by Central Asian women decidedly during this time would feminine. have been bellof Take for example the 2. Central Asian robes were often made milch larger so as £0 accommodate layering during winter

will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving Throughout

the ages, Muslim women's by the teachings norms. Long

fashions have been guided of the Qur'an and by cultural today, and the prohibition burqa, Muslim women sought to dress modestly women's clothing

before the bans on headscarves that we see of the niqab and yet fashionably. Muslim have, for centuries,

munisak robe, with its exaggerated was it punctuated by the gathering

shaped hip design (see Image 1). Not only pleats on both sides of the waist, it was also made with a colourful on their wedding and boldly-patterned during silk fabric known as ikat. Worn by brides day and widows

Our current view of what constitutes Middle Eastern sensibilities-so

is shaped, perhaps, by much so that






3&4. Paranja coats protected women from unwanted attention

their periods of mourning,

Central Asian layering practice,

robes were often made larger than their users, in order to accommodate (see Image 2). This was common particularly

during winter, when as many

as 10 robes might have been worn as a show of wealth and to keep warm. To trap body heat, these robes were sometimes lightly padded and tailored with extralong sleeves to cover the fingertips. Another garment women distinctive meant solely for was the paranja

Central Asian outer

(see Image 3 and 4) This long, padded overcoat, worn pulled over the head, was an absolute requirement stepping for women upon in the 19th century It was often paired with a heavy horsehair veil that concealed the wearer's face entirely. Though oppressive S. Parania coats: Dull outside and colourful inside it looks and utterly

out in public.

strange by modern standards, its function was not so much to suppress women, in settlements these women Consequently, attention Though but to protect them. Living along the arduous Silk Road, would have been exposed to the ability to not draw their have been most welcomed.

a fair share of bandits, thugs and ruffians. would

the paranja may not look like much would its design. Made it featured

at first glance, a closer inspection reveal the flair behind without utilitarian armholes,

two faux sleeves that were tied together and draped over the back. The austere exterior conceals layers of colourful and satin underneath, by her outer covering silk the perfect example (see Image 5)

of how one should never judge a woman







The Baju Kurung and Baju Kebaya As our own region demonstrates, the concept of modesty changes according to place and time. If you stepped into a time machine and travelled back a few hundred years before the advent of Islam in Southeast Asia, you would have found that many women in this region thought nothing of walking around in public bare-chested or clad only in sarongs worn as bodice wraps. When our sultans and kings embraced Islam, they encouraged their subjects to adopt more modest forms of dress. For women, this meant loose-fitting tunics and blouses, such as the baju kurung and baju kebaya, worn over sarongs. While Muslim women of the Malay world would not have strictly adopted the hijab in the past, they did seek to shield themselves from both the blazing tropical sun and prying eyes by drawing a shawl or shroud over themselves when they stepped out of the home (see Image 6). In accordance with their appreciation of the Islamic faith, the Malays also developed a set of adat resam (social traditions) and pantang larang (prohibitions) concerning appropriate ways of dress. Among them are that clothing should not reveal aurat (parts of the body that should not be exposed according to Islam); clothing should not be transparent; neither should it be too form-fitting. These guidelines may have been transmitted verbally through the ages and have come to be accepted as common knowledge within the Muslim Malay community. Another rule that quietly governs the Muslim way of life is that, in Islam, a man's clothes must not carry any resemblance to a woman's. But there is, however, an item of clothing in Southeast Asia that, although simple in form, truly transcends barriers - the sarong.

6. Shawls or shrouds shielded Malay women of' yore [rom the sun and prying eyes

The term sarong conjures up images of a cloth tucked or tied around the waist to form a skirt, which can be of various lengths, terminating anywhere from the knees to the ankles. The imagery may appear casual, but the unassuming sarong is an integral element of the traditional dress and social culture of Southeast Asia (see Image 7) Although the people in the region dress in a wide variety of ways, the sarong is the one single garment that unifies their style. Beyond visual aesthetics, garments like the baju kurung, baju kebaya and the sarong inadvertently reflect not only religious, but cultural beliefs (see Image 8) In turn, religious belief can influence the formation of cultural identity.

7. The sarong

transcends barriers ellen today

8. Malay woman in Baiu Kebaya and Shawl




Modern Modesty

It is clear that modesty in Islam is nothing new and that Muslim women in Asia have long developed their own style. But it is distressing to learn that hijab-wearing Muslim women, especially those who live in the West, are misunderstood, discriminated against and viewed as threats. Islamophobia has exposed young hijabis to bullying, which erodes their self esteem, may send them into depression and could even cause them physical harm. Far from backing down, however, it seems that modernday hijabis and hijabistas (fashion-forward hijab wearers) are taking the initiative. They now choose to express themselves through clothing, fashion and personal style, remaining modest while flouting criticism from naysayers and hardliners should it come their way. We can be proud that a great deal of these women hail from Southeast Asia.

To gain further insight into the often-overlooked history and evolution of Southeast Asian fashion, check out a new exhibit at the Peranakan Museum in Singapore. Sarong Kebaya: Peranakan Fashion and its International Sources, curated by Peter Lee and Jackie Yoong, is a chronologically and thematically arranged collection showcasing Peranakan fashion from the 16th century to the 1950s. Although most Peranakans were ethnic Chinese, many were Muslim, and influences from Islamic fashion can clearly be seen in the early pieces on display here. In fact, the word kebaya comes from 'qaba', which appears in Arab, Turkish and Persian dictionaries, meaning jacket or robe.

With the rise of Muslim fashion blogs, hijabistas asserting their tastes, and Muslim women designers making their mark, Muslimahs nowadays have more fashion and style choices than ever before. The essential fact remains that a Muslim woman has the right to wear what she wants. For Muslim women who choose to cover themselves, the headscarf or veil has become a formidable accessory, making a statement that is personal, spiritual and fashionable.1J




One of the highlights of the exhibition is an 18th century ceremonial robe (pictured) from sumatra, Indonesia. A descendant of similar robes worn by Islamic rulers in the Middle East and West and Central Asia from the 9th century, its patchwork style brings together a surprisingly global blend of materials. Early Javanese batiks and plaids, Chinese silk, Indian cottons and brocades and even European wool were combined to form a single piece of cloth. Featuring triangular gussets under the arms and an angled overlap towards the bottom, it would have belonged to a district chief in Lampung, South Sumatra. Sarong Kebaya and its International Sources is at the Peranakan Museum until 26 Feb 2012. A rotation of items in October will coincide with the release of a book by Peter Lee, tracing the historical roots and stylistic evolution of this classic outfit. Peranakan Museum 39 Armenian Street Singapore Tel: 65.6332.7591 www.peranakanmuseum.sg

Images courtesy of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia