Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Yesterday we had the loveliest experience. We don’t know what triggered it. We’ve lived in Teveria for about two months now. We were in Ha’Ir as we call downtown, doing some errands. When we came home our landlord’s eldest, six year old Nataniel, called us over and gave us some flowers he’d just picked. Nataniel is probably the kid we know best. A little while later, he along with some of his friends and five year old sister came to my door with more flowers. This happened several times within a few minutes. Finally, they asked about the kitties and to please see them. These are religious kids so having pets is a novelty to them. Some of the kids were new to me in that I’d never spoken to them.
Well it was clear that was their motive but instead of just brashly asking to come in which they didn’t even do, they brought a gift as a sign of respect and not one, but one for each kid which is why they kept appearing before their request was made. This is so indicative of the Sephardic culture we have become immersed in. I remember when my mother and I went to Italy the first time. We went to check on my grandfather’s house. When the caretaker came with her little girl, the child kissed my mother’s hand (which would have been a bit excessive here and now) and also brought a hand picked bouquet. It was a sign of respect to Mom just as the flowers yesterday were a sign of respect to someone who had the power to grant a request. Powerful, ancient stuff this. But nonetheless charming and it brought tears to my eyes that these little ones who barely knew me would be able to interact so graciously with someone who could be their grandma.
Here's a link to a picture: