What this tells us is that the call of faith is very deep, and that the traditional signs of faith are branded in the subconscious of all of us who have grown up in Western tradition.
What does this mean for us? We shouldn't hesitate to proclaim the Faith. As Pope John Paul said, "Be not afraid."
I think the religious communities that gave up their habits made a huge mistake, not merely because the habit did something for the religious who wore them, but moreso because the habit was a continuous, visual means of evangelization.