Humans are social creatures. Normally, after a child is born, the family raises them until they decide it’s the time to leave the family and continue life on their own. When I was living in Iran, I was very close to my family, and I used to see other relatives, like aunts and uncles often. My parents and siblings were a big part of my life, and I couldn’t survive a day without seeing them. In Iran, the country I was born and raised, I had a lot of time to spend with my family and we used to eat together very often, but here in the United States, I don’t have much time to visit or call my relatives even the ones that live here.
In Iran, family gatherings were a significant part of my life. Family gatherings are very common in Iran because it is a big part of Persian culture. There are a lot of holidays in which families gather around, especially in elder members of the family’s house, and spend plenty of time together telling stories and laughing. My family, aunts, uncles and I used to see each other at least once every other week; this could take place at our house, my uncle’s or aunts’ house or even at our villa, which was located outside of the city. My cousins and I used to be very close to each other; they were like brothers and sisters to me, but since coming here, I barely have the time to even call my cousins who live in Louisiana, not to mention those who live in Iran. School and other things take most of my time now that I live in Chicago, so I can’t be as close as I used to be to my family.
In addition to the gatherings, having a Persian meal with my family or friends is something that I really miss. My father used to cook koobideh kabob, and my mother used to make cucumber salad, which I really miss. I also miss the villa we had outside of the city, where we all used to gather and eat those delicious homemade food. Of course it is easy to find Persian food in Chicago, but it isn’t just about eating that food, it is about having it all together. In my new life in Chicago, my schedule barely allows me to eat with my aunt and uncle. When I have the time, they are at the work, or when they have the time, I need to study. When all of us have the time, which happens rarely, we have to order food from a restaurant because we don’t have the time to cook.
Moreover, I used to be very close to my parents and siblings. Every day, we used to talk about every little thing that had happened to us that day. My parents, especially my father, used to give me advice frequently. Whenever I needed advice or had a question, I would ask them, and they would patiently explain any situation to me. At first one may think that it is not a problem thanks to technology, but it is not like that. The problem is I can’t talk to them whenever I want due to different time zones. While people were watching super bowl on Sunday at around 6 p.m. in Chicago, people were sleeping in Iran. There are only a few certain times in a day that I can call them or Skype with them. Loss of communication with my family has been very hard for me since moving to Chicago.
Hence, what is lost in the translation for me is that I wish I could go to those family gatherings and eat homemade Persian food while telling stories and talking to my parents and sisters. I really hope in the future I’ll be able to visit my family a lot and repeat those unforgettable experiences. O