A photo taken by Reuters photographer Lucy Nicholson during the Egypt Vs Germany Volleyball game on Sunday showed a symbolic difference in cultures between both countries.
In the Egypt vs Germany Volleyball game, the Germans could be seen wearing the standard volleyball uniform – bikinis, while their African counterparts wore long-sleeved shirts and leggings.
One of the Egyptian players was also spotted wearing a hijab that was tucked into her shirt.
Beauty in Diversity or Cultural Chasm
Several media publications called it a ‘cultural clash’, ‘cultural divide’ and so on.
The International Volleyball Federation was previously strict on volleyball dress codes, but all that changed on the road leading to the London 2012 Olympics. The reason for making the conventional volleyball uniform optional was to accommodate countries who are opposed to the standard uniform for cultural and religious reasons.
Some expressed elation at the thought of the Egyptian women being able to wear what they chose at the competition, others ridiculed it for being “repressive”.
Although the picture clearly shows the difference between the western German culture and the Islamic Egyptian culture, calling it a ‘culture clash’ might be making a mountain out of a molehill.
The image basically symbolizes that cultural differences do not make us aliens.
19-year-old Doaa Elghobashy said to the Associated Press:
I have worn the hijab for 10 years, it doesn’t keep me away from the things I love to do, and beach volleyball is one of them.”
The duo of Elghobashy and Nada Meawad who were Egypt’s first-ever Olympic volleyball representation were defeated in a 2-0 set loss by the German team of Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst. The Egyptians will go on to play against Italy and Canada as they try to make it past the group stage.