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Friday, May 27, 2016

Rant: Turkish Culture Woes

I never thought I would actually be using the word "woes" in a post, but the word just seemed fitting haha. Anyways, today's post is just me ranting and trying to get some frustration out of my system and what better place than my blog? Feel free to skip this post if you were looking for something fashion-related. I promise next week I'll have some new posts up related to that!

I'm not sure how to actually start this post so I'm just going to wing it: it's hard being a first generation American. While my parents made sure my second language was Turkish, taught me the traditions and customs (always kiss relatives on the cheeks and bring them tea even if they don't want it!), and have been taking me to Istanbul since I was a kid, it's just not enough. Sometimes I feel Turkish, sometimes I feel American but most of the time I feel lost. Maybe that's why I was always fond of traveling. Somehow, traveling makes me feel at peace and makes me realize that I'm capable of handling anything. But whenever I'm in Istanbul, that feeling of peace seems to go away and replaced with uncertainty especially when it comes to the future (which you totally can't tell from my Instagram posts. Goes to show that social media isn't an accurate reflection of people's lives!).

I feel a certain pressure to move to Istanbul especially from my Mom who's all alone in America and feels lonely without her family. You see, family is a big part of people's lives here in Turkey. I've been in Istanbul for more than 2 weeks now and I've seen my family almost every day! Sitting together, having tea, dinner, whatever. I grew up without having a big family around me so sometimes I believe that I'm okay without them and that I'm independent and could handle it. But when I'm in Istanbul surrounded by my family, sometimes I think to myself what it would be like to have them around me all the time? To never be alone and "independent" again? To always have people to depend on? Sometimes, I think I could get used to that kind of life and that moving to Istanbul wouldn't be so bad.

Then there's that little thing called marriage that's also a big part of Turkish culture. Of course I want to get married just as much as the next person but it's such a difficult situation for someone like me. Of course there's Turkish guys in America but what if I end up falling in love with someone in Turkey? Do I bring them to America or would they want to stay there? And how would I handle living in Turkey with their customs and traditions and mother in law's and sister in law's and everything else that just makes my head spin. I'm afraid that I wouldn't be the typical Turkish wife and that I wouldn't be accepted. Sure, Turkish people are obsessed with Americans and put me on a pedestal but what if I can't adapt and stick to my American ways with my iced coffee (no tea for me please!), my love for eating out, and how would I even drive in the city?!

Yet my Mom (bless her), says that I can marry whoever I choose, Turkish or not, and that makes me feel better yet also makes me uneasy but they wouldn't be able to understand Turkish culture as much as a Turkish person can. It's all just so complicated and that's actually why one of my worst fears is that I would never be able to get married and have a family. Deep stuff am I right?

Sorry if this post seems all over the place. I just really needed to get this off my chest. As much as I love Istanbul and seeing my family, sometimes it just gets to be a bit suffocating. I have hope that things will work themselves out and if you're in the same situation or just going through troubles of your own, remember that.

Thanks for reading,



  1. It's good to get things off your chest! I wish I could offer some advice, but I've heard similar woes from my first generation chinese friends, who still have a majority of family in China and they always struggle with either feeling too American when they visit China and then feeling not quite American while in America. I hope that you find the path that you want to follow! :)


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