It is important to me for my child to be familiar with and have appreciation for the cultural background of her Turkish father.
I want to learn right along with my daughter all about Turkey. I never gave Turkey much thought until I met my child's father, whom I find endlessly fascinating. He has been here in the states for 15 years and even though he says his "Turkishness" is "baked into him," it will take effort for our daughter to become truly bilingual. It is extremely important to me that she learn to speak Turkish well, as her grandparents do not speak English.
Turkey has a very rich and interesting history. I can't say that I'm in love with the language (I am finding it extremely difficult to learn and not especially pleasing to the ear), but I am very impressed with other aspects of the culture. For instance, I have learned to prepare several Turkish foods which I find to be healthful and very tasty. I had no idea Turkish Cuisine was one of the world's finest!
As a Christian, there are several locations and events that I am familiar with from reading about them in the Bible. My interest was immediately piqued when I learned that my daughter's father was from Tarsus! How cool to meet someone from the same town as the Apostle Paul!
I think it is very sad that people come here from other countries and quickly become "Americanized" and how often, even the children don't speak the native language of the parents. In my case, most of my ancestors have been here for at least a couple hundred years, and came from England, Scotland, or Ireland. I find it so interesting to meet and talk to people from more exotic locales and I appreciate the diversity they bring to our communities. I don't want us to all just melt together into a homogenous mixture. Yes, if you come to live in America, adapt--learn our language and customs, but hold tight to those things that make you special!!
My goal is to find some other Turkish/American families in my area to socialize with. I am hoping to find some mothers with Turkish speaking children around my daughter's age to help her learn the language and to help me learn and teach. I am hoping to learn all I can and help others to have an appreciation for Turkish language and culture. I want to find, develop, and share educational resources with other parents. I want to encourage parents and the children in Turkish/American families to make the effort to hold on to what makes them special and to see how they can enrich the lives of friends and neighbors by holding cherishing the wonderful things about their native country while also embracing the wonderful things of their adoptive country. This attitude applies to all countries, but I am, of course, focusing on Turkish/American specifically.
My vision includes people of every age and I welcome others to this group who may not have a specific connection to Turkey, but maybe just an interest. I hope schoolteachers, homeschooling parents, and other educators or leaders of children will find this group and help make it a better place by sharing their resources and also by finding something here they can put to good use in helping others to appreciate our wonderful differences.
I hope friends will tell friends and this will grow into a large, vibrant group online, and that we will have plenty of Turkish friends to hang out with and learn from here in the Nashville, Tennessee area.
Please, if you or anyone has interest in this, join my group and help make it great!