someone with an american accent read it plz
Hundreds of years ago, umbrellas were symbols of power and authority. Kings. sheikhs, popes, and other rulers believed that owning these sunshades added to their importance. The more umbrellas a ruler had, the more he impressed others; and the bigger his umbrellas, the more power the owner appeared to have. It seems odd to us today that such an everyday object could have once been used to differentiate rulers from ordinary people. Yet at that time, an umbrella was an unambiguous symbol of power. Similarly; contemporary cultures today employ many common things, including clothing, as symbols of social status.
For example, in the civil courts of law in many countries, judges wear long robes, usually black, that cover their ordinary clothing. The robes indentify the judges' role in the courtroom and symbolize their authority to administer justice. The gavel that judges rap to convene court and maintain order is another such symbol of authority. In Britain and in most Commonwealth nations, judges and certain court officials also wear white wigs that symbolize their roles.
Similarly, the ceremonial clothing of European kings and queens is symbolic of their royal authority: Nowadays they wear the long, fur- trimmed capes only on special occasions, with jeweled crowns on their heads and jeweled staffs, called scepters, held in their hands. The academic cap and gown is another example of symbolic clothing. Hundreds of years ago, students at European universities were required to wear long, black robes. Today academic robes are worn only for graduation ceremonies along with a close-fitting black cap topped by a flat, black square. A tassel, which is a bundle of long silk strings tied together, hangs from a button in the center of the squire. By convention, students begin the graduation ceremony with the tassel hanging from the right side of the square. Once a university administrator declares that the students have officially bunduated, they move their tassels to the left side of the square to indicate their new change of status. Graduating students also wear short drapes of cloth over their gowns, whereby their field of academic specialization is indicated via color. An orange cloth symbolizes engineering, for example, and green symbolizes medicine. A wedding, too, is a change-of-status ceremony. Traditional attire is an integral part of the ritual. In a conventional Westem wedding, the bride wears a long, white dress. She also wears a white veil on her head and carries a bouquet of flowers. Her clothing and various accessories (which may be hidden) Constitute traditional good-luck items that a bride should carry: "somethin gold, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a lucky penny in her shoe." An important part of the ceremony is the exchange of wedding rings. These circles of gold or silver have no ending, and symbolize the lifetime relationship the bride and groom are about to begin.
Traditional Western wedding clothes are becoming popular everywhere. The symbolism of the Western white wedding dress is so strong that brides from many non- Western cultures have chosen to include such a dress in their weddings. An Asian bride, for example, might wear a red gown during a traditional wedding ceremony and then change into a white wedding dress. Unlike judges or loyalty, who wear symbolic clothing only for certain occasions, religious leaders tend to wear clothing that identifies their religious roles at all times. In many religions, there are two kinds of religious clothing. Religious leaders wear one kind of clothing on a daily basis as they perform nonceremonial tasks.The other kind is what they wear while participating in religious ceremonies. Often this attire is a long robe of a certain color, perhaps decorated with religious symbols. In some religions, the leaders must wear head coverings, while in others they are forbidden to cover their heads.
Military. personnel, too, wear uniforms at all times, but different types. One type is for everyday wear, and another is the formal uniform worn for military ceremonies. A third type is worn in battle. Military uniforms serve several symbolic functions. First, the various decorations on a uniform jacket and hat are indexes of someone's position in the military. Second, uniforms encourage members of a group to acquire a sense of unity and pride. Finally; in the context of a battle, uniforms become symbols of the nation the soldiers are defending.
Symbolic clothing can symbolize many things, including authority, nationality and change of status. Often the original significance of the clothing has been forgotten or has changed over time, yet societies continue to respect the symbolism. Other clothing, such as the white wedding dress, became symbolic somewhat recently yet is still considered traditional. The objects and clothing that become important symbols in a culture are determined by the special meaning that people give them.