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Our meals are a mix of everything from Greek and Turkish to British, Italian, Indian, and American.
Our conflicts arise from our personalities and wants, just like a mono-cultural couple. The difference is in how we live according to a blended cultural calender. The cavernous church was brightly lit, the priest grew impatient when my cousin the bride came late, but the throngs of relatives and friends were unmistakable.
Together, we’ve accepted hard candies from hosts on Kurban Bayram, have cooked leg of lamb and avgolemono soup according to my mother’s recipe for Easter, and this year look forward to attending Divine Liturgy on Christmas Eve in Agia Triada in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. There, before her parents, her groom’s parents, and religion, she and her now-husband were more than accepted as a single unit, they were blessed.
Yet recently in Greece, it has become “very much the fashion” for a couple to wed and for their child to be baptised in the same ceremony.
They don’t seem to be bothered wearing whatever they wear everyday to church when they turn up.
For the past two years of the four I’ve lived abroad, I’ve been dating a Turkish man.
We met in England as postgraduates, an in between space that was neither Greece, nor Turkey, nor the United States, just after I had spent some time in Istanbul.
While our relationship is easy for other expats to understand, “Expatria” is not a country, nor somewhere we can settle down.
Where then do we plant ourselves if we want to settle down?
Her English is strongest of all her languages, though Turkish comes in a close second since she only hears Greek in limited amounts.
Some members of the Greek-American community are willing to accept her and her parents, but others are not as civil. Her parents must strike a choice of raising her Muslim or Orthodox Christian, though the pressure to raise her Orthodox Christian is understandably strong.
Eleni, variation three to infinitum, lives neither in Turkey nor Greece nor the United States.
Her time is limited with both sides of her family, her English and Turkish are strongest of all her languages, and unless she is surrounded by a Greek or Turkish diaspora, her identifying factors of culture exist only within her parents. I saw an exhibit a few weeks ago at SALT Beyoğlu, an art space on Istiklal Caddesi in Istanbul, which reminded me of my questions.
In the installation, “Genealogy,” by Turkish artist Gülsün Karamustafa, hair ribbons individually sheathed in an acetate enclosure, were pinned to the wall in two rows.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating