Dark Humour Abounds In Student Graduation Outfits
Salam Zidane – Yalla – Baghdad
Dark humour dominated the choice of outfits of final year students from Iraqi universities. Students across Iraq took the opportunity to don fancy dress to express frustration with the continuing chaos in the country.
Fancy dress is a tradition at graduation time in Iraq – a video posted online shows a group of students from the agriculture faculty wearing sheep costumes, they were roaming around the university like sheep. Others were less light-hearted.
“The costume I’m wearing represents the reality that we’ve lived in since 2003 until now. The bloodshed has taken loved ones from us daily, which has impacted the lives of everybody negatively. Thousands of children have become orphans and thousands of women have become widows,” Mohammed al-Jabouri, a student who wore a white costume covered in blood said.
“I dressed in this costume after long discussions with friends about the idea behind the message that we wanted to send out to everybody. I’m a student in the faculty of administration and economy at the university of Baghdad, every student revealed the level of their knowledge through their costumes.”
Another student, Sijad al-Saaedi who painted his face black and dressed in Arabic costume told Yalla, “The costume I’m wearing represents a clear message which is to put a smile on the Iraqi faces which are tired of, and saddened by, the actions of the politicians.
“The costume is partly covered in sadness because we will be unemployed due to the economic crisis the country, and the monopoly of jobs by the ruling class.”
Murtadha Mohammed, dressed in a military costume to show solidarity with the security forces, Hashd al-Shaabi fighters and Peshmerga who are fighting ISIL said, “The costume I’m wearing expresses my love and support for my country during the current security crisis. The country needs us at this time and we will defend it against the terrorism that has destroyed beautiful places in my country.”
But MBA student Shrwq Jasim from the University of Baghdad described some of the costumes as a ‘farce’ and says, “It’s within the rights of the students to express their delight at graduating from the university by wearing reasonable clothing but some of the students reached levels of insanity by wearing costumes such as a children’s diaper and animal costumes, this displays a disregard for people’s feelings.”
Sociologist AbdulKarim Salman spoke to Yalla. “University students wearing costumes reveal the student’s culture, in addition to reflecting conditions of the daily life lived by the nation including chaos, destruction and killings.
“The behaviour of some of the young students indicates that the future of the country is unclear. They are irrational and these students might become the leaders of this country in coming years.”
He went on to add, “Some of the young students dress in strange and scary costumes in order to get close to the female students who prefer to take pictures with those personalities, but the general message is loud and clear in expressing love for the country, demanding unity and rejecting sectarianism.”