How often do you follow traditions? And what if the family consists of people of different cultures? Elena and Chary Terekli told Mail.Ru Children readers about how to find a common language in a multilingual family and how to maintain a balance of cultural traditions.
Elena and Charms of Terekli: love knows no bounds
– Tell us about your family.
– After graduating from the philology department at a pedagogical university, I got a job as a translator at an international construction company. Although Turkish was the second study language, it became a priority in my career and everyday life.
I met my future husband while working at this company. We worked in different departments and even buildings, I – a translator, spouse – the head of the information department and security. Once we met and a spark slipped between us. I was fascinated by him, the name speaks for itself – Enchantment (I put emphasis on the first syllable, although in Turkish the emphasis is on the second syllable). Whether it was love at first sight or not, I do not know, but suddenly you realize that this is your man.
My husband has a professional hobby – he is a DJ and producer. Enchantment began to invite me to his performances, tours, to share his new songs, which was much more interesting than banal dates – because here you see an enthusiastic person the way he is. So 7 years ago our story began.
During these 7 years we traveled a lot, managed to live in different cities and countries. And about 3 years ago we returned to Moscow again, continuing to work together. But the career of both prevented the transition to a really important stage in our life – the birth of children. Finally, we came to the mutual opinion that this time had come.
In the first month after our return, I learned that I was expecting a child, my husband was in China at that time. I called and told him this important news, and heard how he happily shouted to a friend who was standing next to him that he would be a father! Pregnancy is real magic and magic for a woman, especially when she is the long-awaited and the first.
Somewhere in 12 weeks, I already knew that I was waiting for my daughter. Even then I knew how to call her. The name itself came – Eva, Evita. Convenient in pronunciation and understandable both in Russia and abroad. After the birth of my daughter, while I was in a milky-diaper euphoria, my husband decided that it was time to think about the second baby.
And now, making preparations for celebrating the first birthday of the baby, we learned that we will have another child. In late October 2014, our son was born. And now I consider our family truly valuable. And the difficulties are always surmountable.
Well hello, brother!
– What language do you most often speak at home?
– Enchantment, I think, speaks Russian very well. He has excellent language skills, a musical ear for him also helps a lot. At home we speak more Turkish, but very often we turn to Russian, and sometimes to English. It all depends on the situation. We have an agreement: everyone speaks with children in his own language.
We live in Russia, therefore, the main language is now Russian. Turkish language is secondary, but it is necessary to understand the numerous relatives of her husband.
– Are you already teaching your older daughter languages?
– In the matter of teaching the languages of my children, I am guided by my pedagogical experience, observations of the children of friends, maternal intuition, and the book Our Trilingual Children of Helen Madden. While the results are satisfied, but our daughter is not even two years old, she is just beginning to speak.
I can say that the Turkish language is very convenient for the start of childish writing. Now Eva mixes languages and chooses easy words. She knows that her mother understands her in any language. Often, children in bilingual or multilingual families start talking later than their peers, but this should not frighten their parents. The advantage of bilingualism is that it expands vocabulary, develops memory and analytical skills, creates a base and facilitates the study of other languages, forms the child’s self-control. If a child makes a mistake in speech and confuses languages, he should be delicately corrected by playing in a misunderstanding. It is necessary to remember, first of all, that all children are different, and even brothers and sisters in one family need an individual approach.
Trying on palace dresses after watching the TV series The Magnificent Century
– How do you follow traditions from different cultures in your family?
– Turkey is a country where, despite the rapid development of all spheres of life, scientific progress and Europeanization, they very much appreciate, cherish and observe centuries-old cultural and religious traditions. In our family we will tell children about the traditions and religion of both countries, thereby trying to enrich their inner world. My husband and I have different views on the need for some holidays in the lives of children. For example, the meeting of the New Year. While we live in Russia, this is part of its culture, spirit and mood, and if we live in Turkey, then, most likely, we will celebrate the New Year differently.
So when traditions are intertwined and complement each other – this is great, so people around you learn to understand each other better.
– Do you often visit Turkey?
– Before the birth of children, we went to Turkey almost every month, with the birth of children we fly 3-4 times a year – we prefer to fly less often, but stay there longer. For example, in a month you manage to visit only a few relatives. Large families there, what can we say. And children there are very fond of and everyone wants to see their grandchildren, nephews, cousins.
There are two biggest holidays in Turkey: the holiday of the end of the fast – Ramazan Bayram and the holiday of Kurban Bayram, but they do not coincide with our traditional May and January holidays or other convenient holidays. Therefore, we celebrate Turkish holidays mainly in Moscow, but Russian holidays are just in Turkey.
On the Mediterranean coast
– Do not think to move to Turkey for good?
– The topic of moving to Turkey, as a topic of moving in general, is painful in itself. Moving to a new house with two children scares, and here is another country. From a practical and everyday point of view, it is difficult to move and sometimes you don’t want to move at all. But the main thing here is for the children to be good, and where – this is the second question, it could be the United Kingdom, Canada, the Emirates, and even the United States.
– Interesting to know about your husband’s hobby. I understand that he is not just fascinated, but also very popular.
– His passion for electronic music is not just a hobby for him, it’s his second nature, his soul. He began his career in 1992, managed to be a resident of a number of clubs in Russia and abroad, he worked on radio stations and television. Now he is not engaged in music so actively, the appearance of children left a certain imprint on the rhythm of life of a creative person, but I am sure that this year he will surprise us with his new works.
– What kind of music do you listen to at home that you specifically include for children?
– The husband is categorically against pops for children, especially forbids to watch music videos, in which I support him. Musical taste, in his opinion, is an innate thing. It needs to be helped to develop, but not to spoil or ruin. Of course, the immortal masterpieces of classical music, the musical legends of the past century are excellent examples for children to get acquainted with music.
– Let’s talk about the kitchen. Yet two cultures are two different cuisines. What dishes can often be found on your table?
Turkish potato patties
– Turkish cuisine is a special religion, there is an unconditional cult of food in Turkey. There is love there is tasty, a lot and beautiful. I try to master the classic dishes of the Turkish national cuisine and make them into our daily menu. Almost every day we have Turkish or Russian-Turkish dishes on the table, from snacks and salads to soups, hot meat dishes and, of course, sweets and desserts.
I find Turkish cuisine very rich and often practical. Especially for moms. Cook every day and that the table had at least two or four dishes? Easy! It is not customary to serve hot or yesterday dishes on the table.
I really like Turkish soups and pilaf (kind of pilau). Tasty, natural, useful and fast! Vegetarian including. They also liked my daughter and the children of my Russian friends, even kiddies. Now on the shelves you can find those ingredients that are used in the original recipes. I advise you to try red lentil soup, Ezo-gelin soup (Ezo’s daughter-in-law), sawing with nohut or small noodles, pilgrim sawing – these are simple, quick and tasty samples of Turkish cuisine. Fifteen minutes – and you’re done! Especially, if you have a slow cooker.
– Happy family – what should it be?
– A happy family is formed when there is mutual respect, it is more strongly felt in inter-ethnic families. Respect for traditions, their acceptance as features of the second half, and sincere interest, not understanding, but at least an attempt to understand the cultural heritage of the spouse. After all, if people fell in love with each other, it was precisely because a person who grew up in other traditions became native for you.
I am a journalist by profession, and by the confluence of wonderful circumstances I am a pr-specialist, the mother of Sasha’s wonderful son and the editor of the women’s health magazine Akusherstvo and more. I believe that thoughts materialize, so I think only about the good and instill positive thinking in my family.