Fashionable faith

2010-03-27 09:54

BACK

in the day, rosaries used to be worn by the religious and used for prayer.

Nowadays

you will find that these prayer beads come in various styles – from the

traditional plastic and beads to the bling variety of gemstones, pearls and even

diamonds. The rosary is simply one of the hottest ­accessories around.


Celebrities

such as Kanye West and Beyoncé are fashionably close to them – West with his

“black ­Jesus” pendant necklace while the bootylicious one is all skin and a

rosary on the cover and posters of her latest hit album, I Am .?.?. Sasha

Fierce.

West’s

“black Jesus” necklace has replaced the heavy dollar sign as the preferred bling

of black urban youth in the US.

Locally,

people prefer to be more modest about their religious jewellery and while

glow-in-the-dark rosaries are certainly out of fashion (thankfully), they now

come in every colour imaginable to match the Ama Kip Kip ­generation’s love for

all things bright.

Most

of the jewellery available today is funky without ­being overbearing and trendy

without being too showy.

According

to Joburg-based ­fashion stylist Lindani Ndwandwa, people wear their religious

jewellery as a form of self-expression.


“Your

wardrobe can communicate to people about who you are and what you believe in

before they even meet you.

“Therefore,

when one wears their cross decorated with diamanté, it is a statement that they

are so-and-so, Christian and that they also like shiny bling.”

Colin

Francis, an elder in charge of praise and worship at a Catholic church in

­Lenasia, Johannesburg, believes that the young people at his church wear showy

religious accessories as a way to modernise their faith.

“Back

in my day, wearing a rosary was something to be hidden because it just led to

too many questions about your faith. However, now people just wear their crosses

on a gold necklace for show – but I believe it is more for ­decorative purposes

than to show faith.

“The

spiritual aspect of it is ­missing,” says Francis.

However,

Ndwandwa does not agree, saying that the young people are simply moving with the

times.

“They

still believe in their faith, but still want to remain relevant to their peers

by blending today’s trends with their religious ­accessories.”


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