Cultural Glimpse

Enjoying diversity

Tag: Mom

Happy 80th Birthday, Mom!


Millions of Iraqis, including my mother and three of my older siblings, have a July 1st birthday. However, that is not the real month and date of when they were born. Until the First World War, many people, especially in villages and remote mountain areas, never had any identification. They simply belonged to their families and tribes. Their language and culture were their identities. Later, many people did not register their children when they were born.

In 1958, Adul Kareem Kasem was making a census, population count. The government told everyone that they could not leave the house for several days. They went door to door doing a count. Anyone who didn’t have a birthday, they gave him or her a July 1st birthday.
“July 1st was the happy medium, and was an easy way to do everything,” my brother told me. He and my older sisters also received a July 1st birthday.

So, since technically we do not know when my mother’s 80th birthday is, we did not feel too bad that it got postponed from July 1st to September 15.

Rock Climbing –Get me out of Here!

My mom went into the hospital exactly one week ago today. The doctors didn’t find anything wrong with her and she was released three days later. However, the drama associated with her hospitalization lasted a few days longer. What kind of drama? Well, picture one of the Real Housewives episodes. No wonder I love those shows. I can so relate.

I guess the situation was so stressful that everyone began to play the blame game. We pointed fingers, with each sibling accusing the other of doing more/less than her/himself (it was unanimous, in my opinion, that the girls did a hundred times more than the boys). At one point, the conversation got so heated – right there in the hospital room – I thought the Beaumont staff was going to politely kick us out. They didn’t. Probably they’re used to Chaldean Americans yelling when trying to have a diplomatic conversation.

Well, the action did my mom some good. She’s always happy to have her children gather all around, worry and fret over her. Once she’s done with us, she clobbers us with guilt and more guilt. And she’s not even Jewish! Well, technically she is Jewish since her ancestors are from the land of the Chaldeas, the birthplace and home of Prophet Abraham.

Yes, to please my mom is like trying to climb a mountain and never getting to the top. Some days you end up feeling as my daughter did in the video, when she couldn’t get to the top! You feel like screaming, “Get me out of here!”

I don’t want to be married!

Before the start of “civilization”, people got married in a simple manner. The man said, “You’re my wife.” The woman said, “You’re my husband.” The union was consummated, the two had babies, and everyone lived happily (or semi-happily if not miserably) ever after. Today is a different story. People take months to years to prepare for their wedding. Shortly after they have children, half of the couples end up getting divorced and in and out of court fighting for custody, property and assets. Then they remarry.

Recently, marriage has become even more complicated. A few days ago France passed a historic same sex marriage law. Some people were happy about that, others were outraged. The battle for such law still continues in the United States.

My son has his own theory about marriage. I decided to post it, although I’m not sure it’s appropriate today since today is my eight year wedding anniversary.