Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day H: Hashmi, and celebrating with commotion

This April, I will be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, writing about the A to Z of Iraqi Culture. Do give in your own two cents in the comments below and let me know if you have anything to add or something similar to share from your own culture.


This is a hashmi -just one of the traditional clothes women in Iraq wear on occasions. The hashmi is a thin, gauzy kind of material that's embroidered with gold and worn over a sleeveless black dress since it's see-through. It also has something like a decorated hood that's worn over the head.

The image on the left is a modernized version. It's sad that I don't own a hashmi and had to ask my mother for what it really is. Some cultures preserve well their traditional clothing over generations by keeping them in fashion, and I wish I could say that about mine, but over the years, traditional Iraqi dress is getting less common.

One of the top things on my to-do list when I visit Iraq next is to get myself a hashmi to do my bit!


Hischa -a word used to describe folk poetry that contains a degree of eloquence and figurative language.

Hosa- a form of celebration amongst the Arab tribes, particularly in Southern Iraq, performed in both happy occassions, such as a wedding or the birth of a child, or sad occassions such as during a funeral. It is again, the reading of poetry, but with much interaction from the audience, usually repeating the last word in a sentence, a comment of approval or requesting a repeat. At a specific point in the poem, the audience get up and raise their right arm up and down while moving their bodies forward in the same rhythm.

Hosa is also a word in Iraqi dialect that means "chaos" or "commotion", which is exactly what you get when you have a bunch of Iraqis passionately performing a Hosa!



  1. That's a pretty dress. When you get your own dress, you can post a picture of yourself wearing it here.

  2. Hi Ghadeer - that's great that you'll be supporting your local traditions - and through the blog opening others eyes to your homeland ...

    Love the way you're adding in new words for us to read and learn about ..

    Cheers Hilary

  3. These dresses are running in Pakistan s well ....Beautiful dress :)

  4. I like the dress even though I'm an American. And thanks for sharing the words, too.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  5. I think I'll try throw 'hosa' into a conversation... maybe at the next cocktail party I attend ^_^

  6. I think it's great how you are using this challenge to educate us all about the Iraqi culture.

  7. It's a very elegant item of clothing. Here in Malaysia the Malays, Chinese and Indians all have their traditional clothing.

    Keep Calm and A-Z
    An A-Z of learning English
    Round the world from A to Z

  8. For a moment I thought that you were going to write about "Hashmi" family.
    The dress is gorgeous. I am wondering if we can make one by using a "Saree". Sarees have borders and the border on the Hashmi is similar to that of Sarees. Also once some one popular wears it then it will be in swing all over again. It certainly looks much more convenient to wear than a Saree does. Also it is modest enough to cover our "Satar".

  9. I loved learning more about Iraqi culture. That hashmi is beautiful.

  10. Even the word, hashmi, is lovely.


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