Πήρα το παρακάτω μήνυμα σήμερα από ένα φίλο Τούρκο που ζει στην Αυστραλία.
Επειδή έχει σχέση με τα πλεονεκτήματα της επαφής ανάμεσα σε διαφορετικές κουλτούρες (είναι ...μύλος σκέτος, διαβάστε το) το δημοσιεύω χωρίς την άδεια, αλλά και χωρίς το όνομα του φίλου που μου τόστειλε.
How are you? How have you been? How is your family?
I haven’t heard from you for a long time. Hope everything is going well. I am back in Australia. My job is going well and I am trying to build on my other business (Kantura) and its going pretty good.
I met this Greek guy at work. His name is Nick (Nicholas) and he is around 55. Very funny and a nice man but many people at work find him weird and offensive sometimes (because they don’t understand his warmness and sense of humor – which I totally can relate with) but we are very good friends. Interesting though, he is a full-gear nationalist, right-winger (he used to chase left-wing, communist university students with a stick when he was in Athens) but he likes Turks and we have coffee once or twice a week. We fight over the bill - he never lets me pay, insists that he should pay because he is older. But I take my revenge by buying him take-away coffee and leaving it secretly on his desk in the mornings.
This weekend, my best friend Fabricio (he is Argentinean) got married.
I was the best man at his wedding. He married an Assyrian girl. Assyrians are Arabs but they are Christians. They are also called Chaldians (some sort of Catholics). They are pretty much like Muslims in a way, although they are Christians, they pray in the mornings, the way we pray in the mosque.
The girls family is from Sydney, the wedding was in Sydney, (I live in Brisbane) so I flew to Sydney Friday after work. At the airport, the taxi driver was picking up my luggage, I greeted him, he didn’t say anything back. I was a little offended. Why ? I know many of the taxi drivers in Australia are famous for being racist. Sometimes you would hear news of Taxi drivers refusing to take people of dark skin or middle-eastern looking people in their cars. But I ddint worry that much. I have my own revenge. Get in the taxi and keep the guy as busy as possible. So I started asking him about the weather, the traffic etc. in Sydney. He had a thick accent. His “R”s were very obvious. So I asked him where his accent was from, he said “I am greek” , so I told him “I am Turkish”. He stopped the car and hugged me!
He said his name was George. I said “Yorgo!”. He was so happy at the fact that I knew what “Yorgo” was.(in this country, people anglicize their names as Anglo-Saxons would refuse to call you with your ethnic name) His parents were from Aydin. They had to move to Greece in 1922. They were not welcomed back in Greece so they moved to Australia, but, his uncles stayed in Greece. Last year, his uncles and some other Greeks who lived in Aydin organized a tour and went to Aydin to see their old homes. The mayor of the town they went welcomed them, and organized a feast for their honor. The mayor told them, they were more than welcome to move back or claim the land they left. They were overwhelmed, happy. Andreas is planning to go there but he doesn’t know anyone. I gave him my parents and my cousins phone numbers. They will help him when he gets there.
Anyway, Fabricio’s mother is married to a Scottish man. So Fabricio’s side of the family at the wedding were all white people (well, you know what I mean, Anglo-Saxons). So I was their interpreter at the wedding as most of the Assyrians don’t speak English very well and me understanding their culture helped a lot. They escaped from Saddam in 1991 and seeked asylum in Turkey. Turkey gave them passports and some of them stayed but many of them were offered citizenship at countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand so they came here. They are all rich. They work hard and they keep the money in the family as they have a family oriented lifestyle.
We had great time. We danced. We drank. We laughed. We hugged. They sang Turkish songs at the wedding, especially those of Ibrahim Tatlises (the short guy with the moustache). And the anglo Saxons found this weird- the fact that we understood each other and we (me and Assyrians) acted as if we knew each other for a long time. On the contrary- I had never met these people before. And when asked, the men and the women from the girls side of the family, told our Anglo-Saxon friends that we (me and Assyrians) were one nation, one culture with different colors..
The world has been busy with fake problems like culture clash, religious intolerance et cetera.. The media shows these events, as if there is no hope and that these people of the world actually have never lived together before.
I am listening to “Krata gia to telos” from Alexiou and am smiling, because I have hope in beautiful things, my beautiful people, my neighbors, brothers and sisters. And I know ***σ.σ. διέγραψα το όνομά μου*** will come to my wedding and dance “zeybek” with me one day !
Σημείωση: ο Fatih θα απογοητευτεί: δεν χορεύω ποτέ. Αλλά παίζω πιάνο και μπορώ να παίξω στο γάμο του. Στο κείμενο, η έμφαση δική μου.