Maybe some of you know,some of you don't know that I participated quite a number of times involving in local and international summit/conferences.It wasn't that easy.Even when it is being held somewhere in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.Because we are all diversed in background and some are not even originally from Malaysia.Mingling with these people really helps me a lot in terms on how I bring myself to the public and at the same time being a muslimah(muslim girl with hijab) as well.
First,on shaking hands.
Shaking hands surely a symbol of professionalism.When receiving awards,when meeting with people and introducing self,things liddat.
I grew up going to religious school.No,I'm neither a religious person.I'm just some other plain girl who is just like another muslim who practise Islam obediently,and my level of iman goes up and down all the time.It depends.
However,I stand corrected and firm to not to shake hands with men.People would say this is unavoidable.For me,you just try to get the gut on saying that you cannot do so because you're in opposite gender but yet you're open in becoming friends.Not shaking hands does not mean that you cannot be friends or hate him,its just a matter of there's a rule in the religion stating that I cannot touch with opposite gender.That's it.
A lot of times,seriously,a lot of times that I've been in this situation.I knew that if I sacrifice my firm stance on this - I'll make it something that I'm used to.So I cannot start,neither to give it a try.
So,I never shake hands with opposite gender.Whenever I confront with this situation,I'd give a smile and put my hands on my left chest and explain(don't forget to say sorry!).There's also this one situation whereby this one minister is trying to shake hands with me and I just politely put my hands on my left chest and say sorry.He's a muslim though,so he understood well my situation.
This situation makes me ponder everytime I saw muslims shaking hands with opposite gender in the name of professionalism.I supposed the definition of being professional is different from one person to another,and that's why you can find some muslims would say that's fine of shaking hands with other gender.I respect them,but I'll never concur with them.Meaning,in whatever your situation - you're still a muslim.And the muslim title - are the title - forever-not part time.
However,there are still some situation where I'd been working with some non-muslims(mostly are chinese).Packing up goodie bags to giving cellotapes will requires me to giving some things on their hand.So,the issue would be they're not sensitive enough that they cannot simply touch the muslim's hands(for different gender) and hence,there's a need to explain properly on why he/she can't simply do so.Make some effort to explain,that is!
Second,on how you bring yourself to the public.
For me,I'm not a type of person who'd allow myself to be touched by opposite gender when you're mingling around.Example:they could just cubit you,and tepuk your peha..I get this.I've seen it.
However,I'd say the way I bring myself to the public is just a matter of being amiable to everyone.Say hi and talk.There's no need for you to have body contact just in the name of trying to make yourself more open and pleased everyone.
When I went to TEDx,its kinda hard to be one of the volunteers - especially when youre Malay and Muslim.Because some Muslims that joined in are kinda more liberal compared to me.I mean,I'm not conservative.I just do whatever my religion taught me so.
So wearing short sleeve attire is just forbidden for me.And thing is,to still cover my aurat- I just wear an inner insider.Same goes to when I was in Indonesia,I wore cardigan outside my short sleeve shirt given by organizer.
So,there's no issue of you cannot cover your aurat.Even during formal events,I prefer wearing modestly instead of trying to show how professional I could be by wearing tight clothes or short skirts.Never get influenced by the surroundings.Never get influenced by the fashion.Things will so gonna be easy if you stands firm with your stance.Okay?
Fourth,on social nights.
Well,social nights gonna be very usual though if you attended these kind of events such as MUN and international conferences.There's gonna be songs stomping to your heart and your friends will start dancing along.Well,last time I was in Indonesia,I did dance a bit.Well,its not really the dance that involves two person as what you're thinking of,its just a cultural night that turned out to be a lil bit urban.Lewls.So I started dancing amidst of other people(but no,I didn't hold my hands to different gender).Its cultural dance,afterall.When it turned out to be more like a disco,I stepped out and said,"okay..that's the limit.I'm not gonna party..".I stayed outside the hall and look at them at far.
In MUN social nights,I sit and eat while randomly talking to anyone I think of joining.Any races will do,any religion will do.Its just random..literally.I didn't join the bad things(for god's sake!).
Fifth,on taking pics.
When taking pics,I tried to avoid taking pics while the other gender holds my shoulder or the distance is too close.I'd try my best to avoid it.
Just to address something..
I'm not a person who only go for islamic events and conferences - I'm on almost everything.
I know that I cannot simply live in the islamic shell forever.I have to go out and make connections with non-muslims from different backgrounds too.I have to make friends from muslims who are in different background than me too.Also,I realized that more and more muslims should involve in this international relations kind of events that speak about politics,economics and social issues.Or maybe its just me who have the tendency to speak out these kind of issues.I don't know.
I know its gonna be tough.Challenges of ikhtilat.Challenges of prayer times.Because not all events would acknowledge your prayer times,hence you need to make some effort of excusing yourself during prayer times.
I could only remember a few.If you wish to ask me more,do drop questions in my ask.fm(link on my left side of blog) or just drop it here.
All in all,I'm not someone who's really Islamic.Not at all.I'm just some other muslimah woman who cares for others who are facing the same struggle as me and tries to avoid things that religion forbid.That's it.