Friday, April 4, 2008

The Baghdad Tea Party

This guy made me laugh. I'm not sure if he doesn't have both dinner and a date all in one package there.

We did the Tour de Tea, Part Deux last night and visited a couple more of our neighbors' homes. One of the questions that came up was how we, as westerners, find Iraqi society? The answer that one of the guys gave was that the sense of family seemed to be stronger in Iraq than in the United States. At first I agreed with that, and then, walking home, I began to thing about it more deeply.

What gives us the impression of the exaggerated "sense of family" is that several generations of Iraqis often live under a single roof, not wholly unlike my experiences in Latin America. I can't comment if this is a recent phenomenon due to the war and the economic/security situation or not, or if it is how Iraqi society has always been. Sadly my knowledge of the cultural history of this part of the world is only superficial. Nevertheless, it's not uncommon to see four generations living in a large house, but unlike the Latin culture, the Iraqis' is truly a patriarchal one. The heart, soul, and head of the household belongs to the eldest male. Women, regardless of their age or stature, remain in a seperate room, away from any gathering and discussion between men. It's too bad, because I believe that Iraqi's are missing out on much of their collective wisdom and experience because of this cultural division.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My husband and I got quite a laugh from the description accompanying this photo!
Cathy B