Many Muslim women and girls wear a headscarf, call a “hijab.” “Hijab” is an Arabic word that means “cover.” IndyKids asked these girls in the Bronx, New York City, why they wear a hijab and what it is like to wear one.

Siham

I wear it because it is part of my religion. Women have to cover up for modesty. All the women in my family wear it—it’s also part of our culture and religion. I fought a lot for my hijab, at this school I’ve fought for my hijab, [but on the bus] I don’t listen, I just turn up my iPod.
Siham Hussin, 14

Sulayha

When I walk in the street, people like to stare. But it’s okay, as long as they’re not rude. Sometimes it’s hard to have to deal with people when they have an attitude. But I get over it. Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to wear a hijab. But later on I get over it. I hope more people can become Muslim. But if they don’t, it’s okay. I become friends with anyone.
Suhaylah Le’Cruise, 11

Hinda

I started wearing it at the age of nine years old. It wasn’t easy at first, but I got used to it while I got older. Sometimes [people] say, ‘Why do you wear that ugly rag?’ It makes me feel mad and sad because I never make fun of anyone else’s religion; I respect it, and I respect my religion. I love wearing the hijab and hope people will follow along.
Hinda Hussin, 12

PHOTOS: Stephanie Varnon-Hughes

See also: My Hijab