A: The pulou loku, the hats that are worn by women in Samoan churches. Like this one:
Those hats fascinate me (laugh). I'm sure there must be some kind of religious significance to them. It can't be "cultural", else MENA's fall collection would have a whole range (that I still wouldn't be able to afford).
I recall wearing a similar hat only once. It was during my initiation (is that what it's called?) into the EFKS church as a tween. A lovely lady at church had plonked it on my head as I walked up to the stage with my (gasp) hatless head. I felt like a tree had sprouted out the top of my head. You know that feeling when something feels so unnatural, no matter how hard you try to go with the flow? That's what I felt like. And it wasn't because it was an ugly hat, and most if not all the women in the church at that time were "hatted". I felt like "OMG is everyone staring at this thing on my head?" And of course they weren't, I mean the guys at the back had had their eyes closed
To this day it baffles me. And to this day I have never ever worn a hat to church again. Now that I've been living in NZ for a good ten years (eek, has it been that long?), when I see those hats I think of the races or some other type of party-like (possibly boozy) shindig. Also, I think my head is a bit too wide, and I don't have anything to wear that would go with a hat! Maybe I just need to own it, you know? Make it work.
I hope that no hats, fascinators or hat-wearing church-attending ladies were hurt by this post. My goal is not to offend, and if someone out there actually knows why people wear hats to church, I would be interested to know.