GIRLS of all faiths across East Lancashire have been taking part in World Hijab Day to understand and appreciate the muslim culture.

Female staff and pupils at Pleckgate High School wore the traditional headscarf yesterday to better understand the garment and its meaning.

A religious studies group from Nelson and Colne College also took part in the awareness day.

Shahiesta Raja, head of RE and citizenship at Pleckgate High School, said: “Staff and pupils, Muslim and non Muslim wore the hijab all day as a way of increasing understanding and promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural and social awareness of our pupils.”

Shahiesta, who started wearing a hijab full time two years ago, heard about the annual event through Facebook.

She said: “A lot of the girls at the school already wear a hijab, and we have one as part of the school uniform.

“I asked the head if we could ask all the girls to take part and around a third did. We also had a number of staff take part.

“I think World Hijab Day helps us to understand how muslim women feel and more about their beliefs and faith.

“A lot of the girl were excited about taking part and many saw it as a fashionable thing and quite light hearted, while still getting the message across.

Amir Saeed, student and community development officer at Nelson and Colne College said: “I’m glad the college has been involved and hopefully next year we will do it on a bigger scale and get everyone involved.