She was a "chuneh mondeh" At age 14


2 דקות קריאה

Childhood memories from Iranian culture

 I have cherished childhood memories for years. Stories I've heard, things I have seen, smells, sounds, tastes and sayings of a Persian-rooted culture that shaped my personality today as a woman, as a parent and as a person in general. Some of the stories I heard at my parents' house were difficult to internalize, far removed from the world of reality in which I grew up, and have been hidden in the cellars of my memory for many years. The Corona period, summoned me to an important and very significant encounter for me. Coincidentally, or perhaps not coincidentally, I met Kobi Harnoy ,Kobi immigrated from Iran at the age of 13 alone, you can read his exciting story Here.

 In an interview with Kobi, all the sweet childhood memories, angers, frustrations, pictures, smells, some of which I repressed, came to mind. I decided to write down my memories from my adolescence as a child growing up in a Persian culture, in a traditional Persian home and examine today in a mature look back what it did to me as a person. The first episode in the series - my grandmother, The late Taos Suleimanian. "Chuneh 

Mondeh" This refers to my late grandmother, Taos.


 She was a "chuneh mondeh". At age 14
(eighth grade) she was not yet married. In terms of Iran, in an era when chauvinism ruled, it was a kind of shame on the family. At that age, in the parental culture, the child was the property of the authority holder in the family... Their voice was not heard, their opinion was not considered and they were not defined as a "subject", their rights, their vulnerability were in possession of their master (usually the father of the family) .

 "Chuneh Mondeh"- means "stayed at home". " They did not take her" - she was a kind of an object ... Did not fill her duty, Did not yield the necessary fruit to the authority holder. It's a mark of disgrace. There is also type B, "What will the neighbors say?? " At age 14 when she was already considered “old ", she was matched to my grandfather who was 35, a widower with two children. Think of an eighth-grade girl who gets 2 kids + a husband (really old) a widower whose spouse, his lover had passed away. He treated her with respect, it was a top value for him. From here, she has begun her adult life. She gave birth to 6 more children, and raised all 8 children. 

Then, she made "Aliyah" (immigrating) with them, and raised a child with Polio who became paralyzed and very disabled. She became a grandmother and a great grandmother and for me she was " The mother of all my life " In her silence, in her purity, in the look of her eyes I understood everything. She never uttered a bad word in her life She never gossiped about anyone She just dealt with the reality of her life. I suppose and know that this culture was practiced in more cultures and communities. And yet as a mother today, to both girls and boys I welcome the inventiveness, understanding and change that has brought us to where we are today. I heard many stories from my parents' house, Sometimes we had to "milk" them and ask to open the box of secrets they repressed somewhere in their childhood. Even when I heard these stories again over the years, I was unable to understand their meaning in reality. 

It is difficult to digest and is not perceived These stories have a lot of power. Sometimes they are the explanation for the judgment, the criticism, the wretchedness of this generation and their lack of understanding us. We have moved from one extreme to another. Just like it is difficult for us to digest, today's situation is difficult for them to digest and understand too. Extreme is always an unsafe place, sometimes it is also a place of loneliness, It's black or white, It's uncompromising, It's point-blank. Moving to the center, to shades of gray can be more convenient for all of us. PS - My grandmother's mother got married at the age of 9 - She ran out the window on her wedding day and was returned to the canopy - 9 years old! And here is my dear grandmother, a godmother in the circumcision of my Noam, comforting me a moment after the circumcision. I will always remember her.