Friday, March 26, 2010

21st Blog

The celebration of Nawroz has come to an end, the visit with my dad, Glenn, and his wife, Berny, is complete and was very good (see above picture of them standing in front of our apartment building,) our spring vacation is almost over, and we are heading into the final stretch of classes before we come home. We have eleven more weeks and it hardly seems possible we are so close to the end of our stay here.

Dad and Berny arrived safely but two days late after much trouble along the way. Berny’s luggage was lost and never found but she was a real trooper making do with things I loaned her along with an outfit that she bought in the bazaar. She said she still had a wonderful time and they both especially enjoyed the Nawroz celebration and the trips to the bazaar. (See picture of us having tea at the bazaar)

We couldn’t have picked a better time for Dad and Berny to visit.

The weather was sunny and we were able to take them to the mountains twice. The second of the mountain trips was very special because one of our students, Zryan, joined us and was able to talk with Dad and Berny in English and answer any question they had about the culture or his personal plans when he gets out of the University. His mother had made a wonderful picnic lunch of dolma (stew of lamb and stuffed vegetables) for us. You can see it in this picture.

It was delicious and I will take the recipe back home to fix for our family. See picture of our picnic as we ate in a pull-off area along one of the mountain roads.

At the street celebration of Nawroz, Berny said she felt as if she were walking with royalty because the locals kept asking us to have their picture made with them. We can only assume it impressed them greatly that we Americans had chosen to dress in local Kurdish dress for the occasion.

The evening was cool so the large bonfires along the street were a natural gathering place for people to stop and warm the hands. See picture of my dad watching me warm my hands by the fire.

Fireworks would erupt periodically and Kurdish dancing was available all along the way. At one point, we were standing there watching the women in one circle dance and the men in another circle dance when a Kurdish man came up to me and pulled me into the men’s circle. Carl joined me and we laughed and danced along with our local friends. I love the traditional dance. It is very rhythmic and anyone can join in the circle at anytime. (Even Carl can manage the simple two-step dance.) The leader always carries a scarf or beads and spins them in the air as the participants hold hands, step in unison and lift their shoulders up and down to the music. I felt very honored that I was invited to join the men’s circle.

Tonight we celebrated the end of the spring break with a party held by some students for faculty. As you can see below, almost everyone was dressed in beautiful Kurdish party dress and there was much dancing again. Carl and I are especially grateful to Shad and Kurdistan (first picture below,) the young people who took us to the bazaar and helped us negotiate the purchase of cloth and fitting by a tailor to have our outfits made. We continue to be so grateful for all we are experiencing and learning about this wonderful culture.


  1. I have really enjoyed reading your blogs/journal. So nice that your dad and Berny got to spend some time with you there.

  2. I've seen your pictures on google, in connection with an assignment. You are so beautiful in Kurdish costumes. Best regards, Hawjin,(born in slemany)

  3. What an interesting blog and great pictures!!!
    Derin from Vienna with kurdish roots ;)