“I REALLY RESPECT TURKISH WOMEN. I ENVY THEIR SEDULITY, THEIR FAITHFULNESS, AND THEIR LOVING APPROACH TOWARDS THEIR FAMILIES.”
Hello my name is Diana Lindenbauer Güven. I was born in 1968 in Austria. I studied sculpture and painting. However, after I moved to İstanbul in 1989, I started to work as a textile designer, which is my childhood dream. Now I have created a well-known and favorite brand in Ankara called “Diana’s Backhaus”. I am married, I have a beautiful family with two children and I am so happy with my family.
Place and time together is a great duo! I have chosen the place and the time so perfectly to come to İstanbul that even after thirty years I still think that the timing was great and I, fortunately, came here. When I came to İstanbul, I was fascinated like many Westerners, and after I finished my school in Austria, I decided to stay in İstanbul for a while. “For a while” meant one or two years for me at that time. Then… What happened? I stayed in İstanbul for sixteen years and then in Ankara for fourteen years. I have experienced numerous things during this time.
Small Coincidences, Great Happinesses
According to my neighbors, I am more Turkish than my native husband. In my opinion, loving the people of this soil is compulsory while becoming Turkish. To me, having a sense of belonging is impossible without love. When I am asked “what kind of people are the Turks”, I express my sincere feelings. The Turks are loving and compassionate people. They are not wiseacre, but naive people who are pleasured with every Turkish word learned by a foreigner and are very happy with it. It was very quick for me to learn Turkish because of my predisposition to language, and I can say that my adaptation was a bit faster due to my language skills. Multiculturalism, or rather, being in a cultural mosaic, sometimes brings richness, but sometimes creates conflicts as well. I think living and working in a country and knowing the language of that country do not necessarily mean understanding the culture of there.
As For The Meals
As is known worldwide, Turkish cuisine is a very special cuisine in terms of gastronomy and if you ask me I would say that it is the number one and close the case. Home culture is very important in Turkish family structure. They give feasts that lighten the environments, knit up people and strengthen their attachments. No matter it is bitter or sweet, everything in life are shared by gathering around a dining table. Dining is a great culture in Turkey. I think, I started to feel like a Turkish, since the day I figured this culture. I felt as if I have passed the most difficult exam! Neither my success in my work, nor my grammar skills, nor my understanding of religion, nor being married to a Turk and being able to see the cultural difference closely, nor being able to raise bicultural children… No, none of them is the key. The magical doors opened by understanding the Turkish cuisine and food culture. Unbelievable!
Hardworking Turkish Women
In Turkey, being a married woman and having children mean a really important work. All the responsibilities of the household is on the woman’s shoulders. Primarly, the burden of meals… No matter how hard you work, your business success, your academic career, your heavy sectoral responsibilities may not have any effect in an average Turkish home. Turkish men are dominant in the family. In the simplest term, the husbands expect their meals to be prepared by their wives. This interesting behavior is a part of their tradition. In Turkey, all women including those who are successful businesswomen and those who are working under hard and poor conditions to sustain their family, have to take responsibility for the dinner. There are three Turkish men waiting for me to cook at our home, so I can say to those who ask “Why are you here? “ I can easily say” I have to cook and can’t go anywhere!
See The Harmony Of The Dıfferent
Tough, the multiculturalism can sometimes broaden your perspective and make you look at the world through a larger viewfinder, it sometimes creates an unexpected cultural conflict. Living in these lands for thirty years gives us talents to overcome some difficulties. But in the end, being able to feed from the different one and empathize with other cultures make everything easy.
By: Diana Lindenbauer Güven / Photo: Guille Álvarez
*This article was published in the November-December issue of Marmara Life.