Thursday, November 05, 2009

Honoring the Women (Part II)

As I look through the old photos of my family, I started to notice a certain trend.  I don't know if it's just my own family (mother's side) or if it was part of the culture of their day, but I saw more photos of women together than couples.  For instance this photo, it is my mother at around age 19 with her mother.  There were other siblings and I believe her father had passed away around that time.  It looks like a formal portrait.  Isn't it kind of interesting ?   Can you imagine nowadays going to a portrait studio only with your mother and posing for a picture together ?  I saw other photos of two sisters or a two female cousins.  Now that I think of it, the females in my family are all strong.  My eldest tante (aunt) is 97 years old.  A year ago, she still flew to the USA for her annual visit from The Netherlands.  On her return to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam her pickup party was not there due to some miscommunication.  So here is this elderly lady stranded after an 11-hour international flight.  After waiting a while she hailed a cab and ended up using all the birthday money she got at her party in the USA.  We all admire her.   After my mother died (her younger sister) with a forlorn look on her face, she said there was no one left from her youth.  

Mom had another sister who was the eldest.  I think their age difference was almost 12 years, so she was kind of like a second mom to her.  Her name was Tante Ellie.  Apparently when Mom was about 15 years old, an Arab sheik spotted her at the local pasar (market).  Later, when they returned home someone knocked on the door.  Tante Ellie answered the door and a man representing this sheik said my mom was chosen to be his master's next wife and asked for her hand in marriage.  Tante Ellie was shocked !   Immediately she wanted to shield and protect her little sister.  She told the guy to wait on the veranda.  She went out through the back, ran to the pasar to buy a cheap ring, came back, put the ring on my mom's finger, went through the front door to the veranda dragging my mom behind her, pulled out my mom's hand clearly showing the ring and said she was already spoken for.   The sheik's rep honored this, bowed and left.  I love this story !

1 comment:

calvin said...

interesting story Bianca, thanks for sharing. Your eldest aunt is 97? wow... I think she is preparing herself to enter guinnes book of record!

The story about the arab man is pretty hilarious, good thing that your tante protected your mother! :D