I had the honor to spend the Jezhn break in Mergasoor and visit areas close to Barzan; having spent all my life in a city, and never living a village or country life I came to realize just how ‘girlie’, frail and delicate we, the city girls can be.
Apart from the house work of running around cooking and cleaning for the guests who continuously walk in and out the house, these women also do the men’s work in their small farms or look after the animals, if they have any.
I was proud of the fact that I can cook rice, eggs and potatoes, after what I have seen I feel foolish and… let’s say not so proud.
We were invited for dinner at one of the local houses– in the two hour span they knew we were going to be their guests that evening the girls had cooked all the difficult foods that Kurds have– including the dreadful Yapragh. We (the city girls that is) on the other hand, with two days before hand notice and following cooking methods on a few cook books other than the salad nothing seems to turn out right!
One thing that amazed me the most is that if these people had a dish washer it will not wash the dishes as clean and as fast as young women can.
Meal after meal, the girls tuck their long Kurdish dress under the rope on their waist, pin the sleeves on their shoulders and wash the dishes better than three working dish washers. Then there is us, the pitiable city girls- wash the dishes one day and go on about it for the next two days. Did I mention one person uses the detergent and another washes it away with water, and usually a third person would also be helpful to remove the wet dishes from the rack so it gets out of the way.
In the city, in almost every second street there is local salon– and I assure you they make better money than many businessmen in Erbil.
Whilst we are all about makeup, dying our hair with multiple colors and now even manicures are becoming popular. The village girl on the other hand, needs no layers of foundation as her skin is naturally smooth, she posses the natural beauty that looks more dazzling because of the natural environment she grows up in. Her hair does not need to be dyed in three different colors to look good, because the natural Hanna she uses gives extra shine and strength to her already eye-catching long black hair.
A typical girl who has grown in the city would most likely be well educated and go to a university. This does not undermine the intelligence of a village girl, who from life’s experiences—something you cannot gain from reading thick books and highlighting all the important details.
Show a city girl a cockroach and she will scream her lungs out- literally. On the other hand, the bravery a village girl posses is immense, she can confront a wild animal to protect the family’s herd of sheep.
Finally, village girl or city girl? You be the judge, but keep in mind even though they may not go to the best English speaking universities or might not be involved in the train of globalization that is apparent in city life; a village girl in Kurdistan is a young woman that must be respected and admired in her own rights, because if not worse, we are certainly not better than she is!