purdah


pur·dah

noun \ˈpər-də\

: a custom among Muslims and some Hindus in which women stay separate from men or keep their faces and bodies covered when they are near men

Full Definition of PURDAH

1
:  seclusion of women from public observation among Muslims and some Hindus especially in India
2
:  a state of seclusion or concealment

Origin of PURDAH

Hindi & Urdu parda, literally, screen, veil
First Known Use: 1865

purdah

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Seclusion of women from public observation by means of concealing clothing (including the veil) and walled enclosures as well as screens and curtains within the home. The custom seems to have originated in Persia and was adopted by Muslims during the Arab conquest of what is now Iraq in the 7th century. The Muslim domination of northern India led to its adoption by the Hindu upper classes, but it was discarded by Hindus after the end of British rule in India. The custom of purdah still continues in many Islamic countries.

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