I love watching people and wondering about their life. Where are they coming from and where are they going to? What pain have they experienced and what happiness have they known? I am also always reminded of a Turkish woman I met called Hatica.
Her life could not be any more different than mine. I am tied to the internet and all that revolves around it while she is a home-maker, mother and grandmother. She takes her role seriously and gets a lot of satisfaction from it.
She happily obliged when I asked her if I could take a photograph. There was one condition though, and that was I sent her a copy of the photograph.
After a short discussion, it transpired that she does not know how to use a computer, never mind have access to one. I asked her to write down her address, so I could send the pictures through the post.
She handed the pen and paper to her friend and then I realized that Hatica could not read or write.
It would be very easy to assume myself as having a better position in life. I take reading and writing for granted, it helps me to earn a living and it allows me to educate myself about the big wide world.
However, I feel a twinge of envy when I think of Hatica. She has taken on the biggest commitment a woman can make and is thoroughly enjoying it. She is dedicating her life to shaping and moulding future citizens of Turkey.
Myself. I run away from commitment in any shape or form. I accept the bare amount of responsibility in life, because I have to. The thought of motherhood makes me cringe with fear and yet Hatica seems to take it all in her stride.
Diverse Roles of Turkish Women
This also brings into light, the diverse culture and two faces of Turkey. I met another Turkish woman that week. Her nails were perfectly manicured; she was sporting the latest fashion and looked like she had just stepped out of the hairdressers. She had no children and was instead concentrating on her career.
Foreign media often portray Turkish women to be repressed and chained to the kitchen sink yet there is no typical stereotype of a Turkish woman. Her background, family, where she was born and where she lives will define who she becomes.
More often than not, it is women who have grown up in the west of Turkey, who will make the choice to defer marrying and becoming a mother till later on in life. However some women from all around the world unbelievably manage to juggle motherhood and career choices with what seems like no effort at all. I salute them.
Further Reading about Turkish women
My Short-lived Membership of the Elite Turkish Housewives Club
No Men Allowed : Ladies Day at the Local Turkish Bath