To my dear blog follower… no matter where you are in the world*
It is now past midnight in my small and cozy room very far from home. There is a lot of reading to do before tomorrow's seminar, but something inside me said to leave the highlighter and pages photocopy papers and make my way to the laptop.
To the voice of Karim Kaban I began looking though pictures of my last weeks in Erbil. Not surprisingly it was hard going back to readings on the Italian system of diplomacy at he time compared to that of ancient Greece. Hence, I decided to share with you Kurdistani Times, in the hope that it gives you—my dear reader— an insight to life in Kurdistan.
My love for Dolma is beyond what words can describe. Hence, it is only natural that I begin with this picture. You see, in Kurdistan we don't enjoy eating alone. When Dolma (otherwise might be known as yapragh) is cooked at home it has to be shared with others- the uncle, the aunt, the cousins and if all else fails then you just invite the next door neighbour. You know what is most interesting? Usually the man of the house is usually called to flip the large pot of dolma into what ever it is that it will be served on. Special touch maybe.
Before you even have time to fully digest the dolma, and before you have enough time to indulge in the juicy tastes moving every single taste bud there is, everyone is making if the chay is being prepared. This picture reminded me of dad, a picnic was not complete with tea that made my mum's tea pot as black as coal. I really can't tell the difference between a tea bag dipped in hot water and tea that takes one hour to make, but let me tell you this: A KURDISH MAN knows his chay.
So… you had the chay? It is time for the shooti. Usually the shooti is bought on the way to where ever it is you are going. Once you arrive, you put it in the cold water that flows nonstop and it is ready to have right after the chay!
You think by the time you eat the shooti then you're done. But that is just the start of the joy. Usually in most places there is the local food that you can have**. However, after the food big picnics usually end up seperating into small groups. One group will play some games, another will go for a walk, the little ones will get themselves wet and the good girls (like me) wash the dishes... not on a sink with warm water, but with running, cold kani water.
Usually there are many conversations going on in the picnics. I seem to enjoy the part where they all sit and begin telling the latest jokes that they've heard. Then it will slowly move into politics issues and that's when the talk never ends. (Meanwhile, someone has to do the dishes!)
|Sometimes it's just best to stick to what you can do well, in my case, believe it or not it is washing dishes.|
This picture was taken moments before my camera went out of charge. Minutes after this all those kids (who all seem to be daring each other to have that tempting swim in the water) were all in the pool. I must point out this pool in Akre, fills up every single day with natural water. There is a man there who blocks it during the day for the kids, and lets it all go in the evening.
My dear reader, you see, in places like these you don't book online a week or even better a month before. You just turn up earlier than other people and take a place. Usually in summer months when it gets a little more crowded areas are sectioned off and each family takes there own little area. A small payment for the entire day, and most of the time it is free of charge anyway. There are many who bring lights and blankets and sleep the night as well. That's an idea for you!
In Kurdish picnics you often see or encounter certain things that maybe very simple, but the meaning that they carry is spectacular. For example, in this last picnic we went to, the mother of a close family friend was really quiet the entire time, she would eat, pray, and sleep by the little waterfall, far from everyone but from her very strategic place she could see everything that was going on. Here daya gawra is pictured using her phone. Sadly I can't tell you if she was dialing a number, texting or miss-calling anyone. But it sure does tell you a lot about modern day Kurdistan.
The nature back home is definately the ultimate way of releasing stress and really enjoying your time, mainly because it is enjoyed by close family, friends and relatives.
And sometimes you come across some very special creatures:
But what I like most about the little picnics back home is that it makes you reailze the importance of the simple life. The beauty of the simple life. The life that isn't complicated. A life where you can be happy with the most minimum of things, a life where you live only by your needs. A life that I certainly yearn for... you go back to the time of the rocking cradle...
I can talk about the hospitality of the people in outer city areas for every, but it will never reflect the reality. Dayki Hama (Hama's mother)
I miss that day, as its one of my last memories of back home. Though deep inside I am content, because I know there are somethings that won't change back home. I know that anytime I can go back and this will still be there. I can take a note pad and a pen and sit by the little waterfall, or maybe rest my head on daya gawra's lap. Meanwhile I will conclude this blog (by the way it is well past mid-night and I am certainly not going back to anything about Italy or Greece) by a photo that I took of my little angel M. S. M giving me a leaf. I put it in a little notebook after she gave it to me, and right now, it is here, with me!
**Wait for future blog entries :)
*I actually forgot the baby's name, but there is a 80% chance that he was Hama anyway :)