Wedding guest dress & conservative faiths - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 114 Old 07-03-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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Again it is not just about the clothing for either side of this discussion. If we would be willing to accept someone declining a wedding invitation because being in that particular house of worship is against their religious philosophies then we should be willing to accept that someone can decline because of similar personal philosophical reasons.
ok see now i think its perfectly acceptable to decline a wedding invitation b/c of this. i wonder if declining b/c of a request to dress modestly is really just about clothes. i can understand declining and invitation to a wedding b/c you have philosophical (or religious, psychological w/e) that are so at odds with the religion of the place it is being held. although i am not sure how you would find yourself invited to the wedding of a person with whom you have such irreconcilable differences.

i guess i don't understand not attending a wedding that you would otherwise attend if it weren't for the modesty thing. i see a difference.. but i wonder if i am not understanding something that would make the differences moot.
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#92 of 114 Old 07-03-2009, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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although i am not sure how you would find yourself invited to the wedding of a person with whom you have such irreconcilable differences.
Well, as was pointed out upthread, doesn't have to be a friend. How many people convert from the faith they were raised in to something else, or marry someone else with a different faith? So, it wouldn't be that far of a stretch to have someone of a very different faith in the family.

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#93 of 114 Old 07-03-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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yeah but would you be close enough to them for your attendance at their wedding to be of great importance to them? i mean if your sister's faith is a huge part of her life and it is a faith you simply cannot accept how close could you be?
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#94 of 114 Old 07-03-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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yeah but would you be close enough to them for your attendance at their wedding to be of great importance to them? i mean if your sister's faith is a huge part of her life and it is a faith you simply cannot accept how close could you be?
There is a huge difference between accepting that your sister joined or is part of a faith that you don't agree with, and declining to participate in that faith in ANY WAY yourself. Most of my family belongs to a church whose practices I find repugnant. I was raised in that same faith. I cheerfully go to weddings held in churches of that faith. I am not asked to do anything during the service that makes me be part of the practice of that faith. I do not put money in the collection plate or otherwise contribute financially to the denomination during the service. If "modest" dress were part of those weddings, I'd decline.

My sisters know how I feel about their faith. We don't hang out at church together, but manage to find much common ground and get along OK.
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#95 of 114 Old 07-03-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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On the flip side, if I was asked to be in a wedding and asked to wear a dress I felt was immodest, I would politely tell the bride that I cannot wear a dress because xxx and explain. Is that offensive?
I don't think that should be a problem. I think it's kind of the same side of things. You don't want to compromise your own belief system for the sake of attending this kind of function. Only you know where the line falls on the spectrum of importance of people's feelings vs. importance of being respectful to yourself and your own beliefs.

I do agree that asking people to not dress in a revealing manner or just really sloppy dirty manner might fall under the etiquette and respect category more than the freedom of belief category. So telling a person, "Hey, no short shorts, no tube tops, this is a formal event, it's in a conservative church, etc." shouldn't be a problem for most people, it's not like they have a religious dictate to wear those things. Most people are going to have to adhere to a specific dress code if they agree to attend an event.

But I can't necessarily undermine a person's feelings when they are really attached to a certain way of dressing. It is a big deal for my husband to go to something formal because he loathes how the more dressy clothes fit on him and make him look and feel because of his size. To the extent that when we had his brother's memorial service, getting the proper clothing and traveling with it and having to wear it was a big source of stress for him. If I were inviting a person to my wedding who I had only seen wear a certain kind of clothing, and I knew it would be an issue to dress another way, I'd only invite them if I knew I was willing to accept them that way.

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i guess i don't understand not attending a wedding that you would otherwise attend if it weren't for the modesty thing. i see a difference.. but i wonder if i am not understanding something that would make the differences moot.
Well, I think it is kind of a theoretical exercise and most people are willing to compromise at a certain point. I would probably wear a dress to most weddings. However if I received a wedding invitation that said that all women were required to wear skirts for modesty's sake, or were required to cover their necks, I'd really have to think hard about whether or not I would attend. Even if I would normally wear a dress, the choice of it being taken from me would not sit well with me, because my own personal religious belief is different.
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#96 of 114 Old 07-03-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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i mean if your sister's faith is a huge part of her life and it is a faith you simply cannot accept how close could you be?
You can still love a person dearly even though you have profound differences. It seems that people were critical of EFMom and said it was shocking that she'd refuse to attend the wedding of a loved one because it required dressing to adhere to a certain religious belief. But it seems like you are saying that it's understandable because their differences mean they aren't that close anyway. Maybe it's just that the attending weddings aren't that important to people in the grand scheme of things, no matter how close you are.

For me, I guess it's that weddings are kind of odd things. In a lot of ways, they are more about inviting people who aren't your loved ones, but business contacts. I've been to many weddings of people I barely seemed to know, but then missed weddings of siblings. I really wanted to go to my brother-in-laws wedding, but couldn't because it would have meant traveling cross country and sitting in a hotel room with the children since they weren't allowed to attend. Weddings mean different things to different people. I kind of fall in the camp of you want to be surrounded by those most important to you, no matter what, but others feel like it's a formal party or a sacred event that must adhere to certain standards.
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#97 of 114 Old 07-03-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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I don't think that should be a problem. I think it's kind of the same side of things. You don't want to compromise your own belief system for the sake of attending this kind of function. Only you know where the line falls on the spectrum of importance of people's feelings vs. importance of being respectful to yourself and your own beliefs.

I do agree that asking people to not dress in a revealing manner or just really sloppy dirty manner might fall under the etiquette and respect category more than the freedom of belief category. So telling a person, "Hey, no short shorts, no tube tops, this is a formal event, it's in a conservative church, etc." shouldn't be a problem for most people, it's not like they have a religious dictate to wear those things. Most people are going to have to adhere to a specific dress code if they agree to attend an event.

But I can't necessarily undermine a person's feelings when they are really attached to a certain way of dressing. It is a big deal for my husband to go to something formal because he loathes how the more dressy clothes fit on him and make him look and feel because of his size. To the extent that when we had his brother's memorial service, getting the proper clothing and traveling with it and having to wear it was a big source of stress for him. If I were inviting a person to my wedding who I had only seen wear a certain kind of clothing, and I knew it would be an issue to dress another way, I'd only invite them if I knew I was willing to accept them that way.



Well, I think it is kind of a theoretical exercise and most people are willing to compromise at a certain point. I would probably wear a dress to most weddings. However if I received a wedding invitation that said that all women were required to wear skirts for modesty's sake, or were required to cover their necks, I'd really have to think hard about whether or not I would attend. Even if I would normally wear a dress, the choice of it being taken from me would not sit well with me, because my own personal religious belief is different.
I think, m'dear, you have hit the nail on the head with this!
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#98 of 114 Old 07-04-2009, 02:58 AM
 
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Even if I would normally wear a dress, the choice of it being taken from me would not sit well with me, because my own personal religious belief is different.
I absolutely get the difference between doing something on your own, and doing something because some church or other institution required it.

What I do not quite get is what kind of religious beliefs or non-beliefs actually oppose modest dress, on principle. Everybody has to own at least some modest clothes, especially if they live in a cold climate.
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#99 of 114 Old 07-04-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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I absolutely get the difference between doing something on your own, and doing something because some church or other institution required it.

What I do not quite get is what kind of religious beliefs or non-beliefs actually oppose modest dress, on principle. Everybody has to own at least some modest clothes, especially if they live in a cold climate.
My beliefs aren't religious. I find the basis of these "modest" dress practices offensive and demeaning. For the pp who likened them to simple habit like removing shoes when entering somebody's home, I don't buy that for a minute. The "modest" dress practice are indeed based on religious beliefs.

That doesn't mean that I have any need to run around half naked. But there is nothing inherently offensive or shameful about one's shoulders or my calves or any other body part that one can see during a trip to the mall or the grocery store. I refuse to have such a low opinion of humanity to think that men and women are such animals as to become unhinged at the sight of a naked shoulder. Any person who cannot contain themselves at the sight of a naked calf is going to find some other excuse to get themselves worked up--maybe a naked ankle or wrist. We know where that leads. And in reality these practices generally are overwhelmingly sexist.

If your religion believes this and you believe it that's perfectly fine with me. But I don't and I would be offended to be expected to participate in it.
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#100 of 114 Old 07-05-2009, 04:49 AM
 
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Everybody has to own at least some modest clothes, especially if they live in a cold climate.
Not true. For some traditions any skirt, even a skimpy one, is more modest than pants on a woman. For a very long time I did not own one dress or skirt. I only had pants and even then I did not even have a nice pair of slacks, only jeans or sweats. If I had been invited to any function that required me dressing up I would have needed to buy a new outfit, and most likely borrowed the money to do it. Not having "modest" clothes would have indeed been a problem for me.

Now I keep a couple skirts and a dress in my closet just in case. I wear them so little they get dusty, and I am pretty sure they are horribly out of fashion. They would be considered modest, but not formal, so if I were invited to a formal wedding, I would be out of luck.

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#101 of 114 Old 07-05-2009, 05:09 AM
 
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Nearly off topic now, but I just remembered that at the time when I didn't own any skirts I lived next door to the Chabad House near UCLA. They had these fabulous Orthodox Jewish weddings there, and would invite anyone who wanted to to come to the reception afterward. I would have gone, but I needed to wear a skirt to go inside, and I didn't own one. Funny thing was, the weddings themselves were on the city street, so I could attend those wearing my jeans. I just couldn't go to the party.

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#102 of 114 Old 07-05-2009, 10:48 AM
 
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After having three kids and not being the same size that I used to be I didn't have anything to wear to a recent wedding and had to buy a dress. It wasn't in our budget at all. I tried to get something reasonably modest since I wasn't familiar with the church the wedding was being held at. And after reading this thread I realize it doesn't meet some folks standards. The two fingers below the collar bone rule would rule it out even though I was careful to choose a dress that did not reveal my ample bosom.

I think if I received an invitation to a wedding that required the level of modesty some folks are talking about here I might turn it down because of lack of money and time to deal with finding something appropriate. I just can't afford to go out and completely replenish my wardrobe.
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#103 of 114 Old 07-05-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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I find the basis of these "modest" dress practices offensive and demeaning.

That doesn't mean that I have any need to run around half naked. But there is nothing inherently offensive or shameful about one's shoulders or my calves or any other body part that one can see during a trip to the mall or the grocery store. I refuse to have such a low opinion of humanity to think that men and women are such animals as to become unhinged at the sight of a naked shoulder. Any person who cannot contain themselves at the sight of a naked calf is going to find some other excuse to get themselves worked up--maybe a naked ankle or wrist. We know where that leads. And in reality these practices generally are overwhelmingly sexist.

If your religion believes this and you believe it that's perfectly fine with me. But I don't and I would be offended to be expected to participate in it.
The OP referred to a wedding in an Orthodox church, where the standards of modesty are roughly the same for men and women. If anything, the women have less stringent requirements. I cannot see how this could be considered sexist. The reason women's clothing is being discussed exclusively is because men in this culture tend to automatically wear modest clothing to an event like a church wedding.

I think the modest clothing request is being seen as something special and extraordinary being required, like wearing an elaborate costume and a mask; while most women regard their usual clothing as "neutral," modesty-wise. I would argue that it is not neutral at all. Present-day women's clothing, especially special occasion clothing, is designed to emphasize sexuality. How is such clothing typically described? If it looks right, it "shows off your legs" or "emphasizes your waist and bustline;" it "flatters your figure" or "makes your butt look terrific."
Asking for modest clothing for a church ceremony is simply requesting that, for this one occasion, you do not choose clothing intended to draw attention to the body - like the male wedding guests would do without being asked.

Most women, especially young women, have absorbed this attitude so fully, they are not even aware of it any more. This makes it difficult to discuss, because we have the weird dichotomy of women wearing clothes specifically designed to attract the opposite sex, yet becoming offended when men respond as intended.

Personally, I find it far more "sexist" and "demeaning" that women are only considered nicely dressed if they wear things that display or call attention to their secondary sexual characteristcs, while the same does not apply to men.
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#104 of 114 Old 07-05-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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Asking for modest clothing for a church ceremony is simply requesting that, for this one occasion, you do not choose clothing intended to draw attention to the body - like the male wedding guests would do without being asked.
I'm asking in all seriousness with no snark.
So in order to not draw attention to one's feminitity should all colour, make-up, nail polish, jewelry etc also be verbotten? No up-dos in order that you can't see the curve of a slender neck? No open toed shoes? At what point does it become enough?

Is the idea of modesty to please your God? (Because then aren't you requiring others to participate in your faith?)
To not distract others? (Because honestly men in suits can be hot, and I've known women to be sexy in track pants and hiking boots and no makeup - it's a state of mind thing more than a body thing imo.)
To show respect? Because isn't respect embodied as much in intent as it is in actions?

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#105 of 114 Old 07-05-2009, 09:28 PM
 
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I think the modest clothing request is being seen as something special and extraordinary being required, like wearing an elaborate costume and a mask; while most women regard their usual clothing as "neutral," modesty-wise. I would argue that it is not neutral at all. Present-day women's clothing, especially special occasion clothing, is designed to emphasize sexuality. How is such clothing typically described? If it looks right, it "shows off your legs" or "emphasizes your waist and bustline;" it "flatters your figure" or "makes your butt look terrific."
Asking for modest clothing for a church ceremony is simply requesting that, for this one occasion, you do not choose clothing intended to draw attention to the body - like the male wedding guests would do without being asked.

Most women, especially young women, have absorbed this attitude so fully, they are not even aware of it any more. This makes it difficult to discuss, because we have the weird dichotomy of women wearing clothes specifically designed to attract the opposite sex, yet becoming offended when men respond as intended.

Personally, I find it far more "sexist" and "demeaning" that women are only considered nicely dressed if they wear things that display or call attention to their secondary sexual characteristcs, while the same does not apply to men.

I don't think women are so stupid or naive as to not be aware of what they are wearing or why they wear it. I give women a great deal more credit than that. I also don't assume that if a woman wears clothing that draws attention to what she considers her best features that she is necessarily doing it for the sole purpose of attracting men. It may well be that it makes her feel good.

As a woman, I enjoy setting my own dress standard, not having it be imposed on me by anyone.
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#106 of 114 Old 07-05-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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This is from DP.. we were talking about this and he wants me to tell you what he thinks.


DP says he agrees with those of you who would not go. he said that attending a religious wedding in a religious place is a compromise for people who do not subscribe to that system of beliefs. He would not dress any differently (nor would he expect me to do) then he would if he were attending a secular wedding. If people outside the religion in question are coming to the wedding they are already making concessions to accommodate the religious beliefs of the couple. If it is that important to the couple to have people dressed in a certain way, no matter how simple, they should be prepared to have people choose not to attend.

he said that he will respect the couple by attending the wedding even though it will mean attending a religious ritual that he does not remotely believe in. He will not respect any request for him to to follow any of their beliefs including modest dress inside of a church. He does not believe that religious dwellings deserve any more respect that any other building. He appreciates them for their history and architecture but that respect has nothing to do with their connections to god or religion. Asking him to dress a certain way to show respect to god is akin to asking him to believe that there is a god who deserves respect for the duration for the ceremony which he has no intention of doing. ever.

the man will go a week without saying more then 5 words but if you put 'dressing up' and 'religion' in the same sentence he gives you a dissertation.
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#107 of 114 Old 07-06-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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I must say, I've come around on the subject of skipping the wedding. If guests feel so intensely negative about attending a church ceremony, let alone accepting the church's guidelines for dress, it would certainly be better for everyone if they just went to the reception. Maybe church weddings should not be thrown open to all family and friends anyway, given how many hard feelings could result one way or another. Make the wedding ceremony private or optional and let everybody gather later on at the party.
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#108 of 114 Old 07-10-2009, 12:32 AM
 
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Well I just finished reading this entire thread!

I think that dressing "respectfully" should be up to the individual, since this thread itself has shown that there are many different levels of modesty. Not everyone can be pleased. I may think that by showing up in nice dress pants and a blouse that I am being modest and respectful, but apparently not to some!

Food for thought. I have a pagan friend who invited people to come to her wedding "skyclad" or naked. For those of you who couldn't imagine not showing up to a wedding because of a dresscode, would you go, or would you respectfully decline and send a gift?

(I went, but chose not to go skyclad. Mostly because of self esteem issues, rather than modesty to be honest!)

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#109 of 114 Old 07-10-2009, 12:37 AM
 
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I must say, I've come around on the subject of skipping the wedding. If guests feel so intensely negative about attending a church ceremony, let alone accepting the church's guidelines for dress, it would certainly be better for everyone if they just went to the reception. Maybe church weddings should not be thrown open to all family and friends anyway, given how many hard feelings could result one way or another. Make the wedding ceremony private or optional and let everybody gather later on at the party.
This is what DH and I did. The Church where we married was small, so it was only close friends and family came to the ceremony and everyone else came to the reception. It worked very well, and no one seemed to feel slighted.

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#110 of 114 Old 07-26-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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Ah. Just curious, since a lot of resources will have a tendency to read as "this is how muslims do things" when what it's really saying is "this is how muslims like me do things." While the pendulum is definitely swung more to the side of a more strict modesty overall, in practice there are probably just as wide a range of traditions as there are among christians.

(I like the gender dividers, myself, but one of the more common purposes of that these days is so that women can show off their favorite little party dresses. Come in abaya ... party in something skimpy ... leave in abaya. I'm guessing it might surprise some visitors who think modest = a predisposition towards the dowdy. )
I attended my Muslim cousin's wedding and they made a little "room" for the women where everyone could take their coverings off and we learned to belly dance. My male cousin got in BIG trouble for peaking under the divider. He was too young to understand, but still. I remember it being a blast.

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#111 of 114 Old 07-27-2009, 12:45 AM
 
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I must say, I've come around on the subject of skipping the wedding. If guests feel so intensely negative about attending a church ceremony, let alone accepting the church's guidelines for dress, it would certainly be better for everyone if they just went to the reception. Maybe church weddings should not be thrown open to all family and friends anyway, given how many hard feelings could result one way or another. Make the wedding ceremony private or optional and let everybody gather later on at the party.

AMEN!!!!!! After my childrens baptism I decided it would be best to not invite some loved ones to sacremental stuff. instead just invite them to share our joy at the reception.

not to mention, i usually don't go to peoples weddings because generally i find them boring and way too self involved....and way to light on the serious nature of what is happening. it makes me angry. i would rather just go to the party and celebrate their marriage. better for everyone involved.

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#112 of 114 Old 07-27-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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[QUOTE=lil_earthmomma;14061604]
Food for thought. I have a pagan friend who invited people to come to her wedding "skyclad" or naked. For those of you who couldn't imagine not showing up to a wedding because of a dresscode, would you go, or would you respectfully decline and send a gift?
QUOTE]


I would not could not go, however...

just out of curiosity. . . . did a lot of people do it?

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#113 of 114 Old 07-27-2009, 09:48 AM
 
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Food for thought. I have a pagan friend who invited people to come to her wedding "skyclad" or naked. For those of you who couldn't imagine not showing up to a wedding because of a dresscode, would you go, or would you respectfully decline and send a gift?
Hmm, like that Star Trek NG episode where Troi's mom wants everyone to go to the wedding naked...

I got over being worried about being naked when I was in the army - but I am not sure that I would want to see all the old relatives in the buff...

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#114 of 114 Old 07-27-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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Food for thought. I have a pagan friend who invited people to come to her wedding "skyclad" or naked. For those of you who couldn't imagine not showing up to a wedding because of a dresscode, would you go, or would you respectfully decline and send a gift?
I wouldn't have a problem going, though I'm not sure I'd go naked. I wouldn't bring my kids, however, and I'd hope there weren't any children there.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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