Author Archives: Sheena Sadaghiani

Douftie Agha Kherseh “Story of Mr. Bear”

There was a farmer that befriended a bear. The farmer took care of him and they became best friends that did everything together. One day there was a fly on the farmers face, so the bear took a rock to try and get the fly off, but accidentally sliced the farmer’s face. The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t be friends with anyone that just comes into your life you should choose you’re friends wisely.

Cracking your Knuckles Causes Arthritis

My informant told me that as a child she would always crack her knuckles. She admits that it was a terrible habit, but it was something she did without even noticing. Every time her grandma was would catch her in the act she would snap and say “ Don’t crack your fingers you’re going to get Arthritis and have chubby hands like me!” My informant said that she vividly remembers the first time her grandma said this to her. She remembers looking down at her grandmother’s hands and thinking to herself and saying, “she’s probably right, she does have chubby fingers and her hands always hurt.” Fearful that she would end up with aching, chubby hands, my informant tried to stop this bad habit. However, she still hears her grandma’s voice in the back of her head every time she’s in the midst of cracking her knuckles.

Burek- A Turkish Dish

My informant shared a recipe for Borek with me, a savory Turkish puff pastry that is filled with spinach and feta cheese. My informant is Iranian on her father’s side and Turkish on her mother’s side. She told me that her mother was a wonderful cook, who made exceptional dishes, but Borek was always her favorite. She would sit in the kitchen and watch her mom as she would lay the filo bread on a flat aluminum tray and spread the egg and oil on it with a cooking brush. My informant would love to steal the brush from the mother and spread the ingredients onto the filo as a child. She remembers this as an after school tradition, or a tradition that would take place on Sunday evenings. It is a tradition that is very sentimental to her because she felt that she had time to bond with her mother and have one on one time with her without her other two siblings interrupting. She described the scent of the Borek as if it was cooking in the oven, right then and there. She also said it became a tradition for her to cut the Borek into perfect little squares after it came out of the oven and cooled down. She remembers always fighting with her siblings for the first piece, yet always managing to succeed! She has shared this recipe with her daughter, and now shares the same tradition with her. It is a very sentimental, yet happy tradition that women in her family take part in together.

“You Snooze, You Lose”

My informant is a strong believer in this proverb. She said that it applies to every guy in her life. She said that guys “don’t go in for the kill” and don’t realize that they should commit to her until it’s too late. When guys do realize they want something serious she is uninterested and turned off by their lack of commitment. She then added, “ I don’t know if I’m just choosing the wrong guys or if it’s just a coincidental pattern.” In any event, this informant finds herself saying “You snooze you lose” quite often.


“All good things come to those who wait”

My informant told me that her mother used to frequently say this to her when she was growing up but that she didn’t fully understand, or perhaps want to understand what it meant. My informant told me that as a young child she was very hyper, and not surprisingly, inpatient. She often wanted to see immediate results, or to be rewarded immediately. She felt that she wasn’t lucky because she didn’t get first place in competitions, and because things didn’t go her way. My informant told me that when these things didn’t happen she became frustrated and upset. When she would react this way her mother would say, “good things happen to those who wait sweetie”. My informant told me that as she grew older and matured she learned to understand and appreciate the meaning of this proverb, and that it now has a sentimental meaning to her. She went on to say that as a young adult she doesn’t need outstanding results to occur immediately. Rather she has learned to be patient, and understands with time, and patience the right things will come her way.

* This proverb is used in a poem by Violet Fane titled Out vient ß qui sait attendre.