The Cultural Complexities of the High School Prom

May 28, 2003

Source: San Jose Mercury News

On May 28, 2003 the San Jose Mercury News reported that "as a practicing Muslim, Fatima is forbidden to date or dance in mixed company. Her predicament is increasingly common in the Bay Area, where immigrants and children of immigrants can find the prom season particularly vexing because of the added stress to respect cultural or religious values... The prom is supposed to be one of the fondest high school memories, where seniors share one last magical goodbye. But issues of dating, staying out late and shelling out hundreds of dollars for dresses, tuxedos and limousines can be uncharted waters for many families unaccustomed to the tradition of the prom... Adeel Iqbal, student body president at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, said he and his parents had intense discussions about the prom and whether he could bring a date. Adeel, a Muslim and a friend of Fatima's, said his parents felt strongly that he should go alone -- or not at all. But at the all-boy school, no one goes to the prom without a date, he said."