Dating…the unspoken topic in my household. Am I allowed to date? Of course… if I were born a boy!
Me, an Assyrian girl wanting to date? Not right now, but maybe when I have graduated school, as my parents often say. Don’t get distracted by boys and focus on becoming successful, what will a boy do for you now? Because, as everyone knows, there’s no way you can date AND do good in school. Being raised in this generation with old school Assyrian parents can get challenging, especially when, in their perspective, gender determines what you can and cannot do.
Assyrian boys want to date? Sure, that’s perfectly fine. Oh, they even want to date a non-Assyrian girl? Go ahead! Assyrian girls on the other hand, experience dating a bit differently than their male counterparts. What if someone sees you out with a boy, what will they say about you? Especially a boy that’s not Assyrian? No way. You can ask an Assyrian boy if they are allowed to date and the answer will most likely be “yes, why wouldn’t I be allowed?” but ask an Assyrian girl and “no” will be shot right back at you.
Normal people: Hey we should go out on a date some time!
Assyrian's: Mom, I want that one!
I am an Assyrian girl living with traditional older-mentality parents, so, I understand that dating young is often seen as taboo, however, it is still done in secret. Assyrian girls, like myself, probably would not make it known to the whole family that they were talking to a boy as this would stir up much conflict between the parents and the daughter. They just don’t get that dating in this generation and in this country is not like dating in Iraq. It IS normal to have a boyfriend or girlfriend in the western culture, but not in their perspective.
On top of everything, if I were to ever make it known to the family, I would have to do a “mashmetha.” This Assyrian tradition, would require his parents coming over to my house and sitting with my parents, to discuss if we are ALLOWED to go out with each other in public. This is also basically saying, hey! here is the guy that I am going to get engaged to in the next 5 months.
So, as a young Assyrian millennial am I allowed to date? I’d have to go with no for that one. Tune in next week for a little chat about sacrifice!