My granddaughter Elsa

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I had two children named Sara and Sami. There is 18 months between them. They were two very cute kids. My life was spent at home, working and raising children.

Sara's grades were always very good. She first attended St. Pulcherie, and then Notre Dame de Sion (two schools supported by the French, where the curriculum is completely in French, and run by nuns). She got engaged when she was a senior in highschool.

Sara was raised quite conservatively by her father. She was only allowed to the movies on Saturdays. Sundays were for homework. We used to go to Chinarcik in summers then. The mother and father of my son-in-law, Mordo Altaras were also there. Mordo Altaras was there too. He was dating a girl. The father-in-law knew my husband. He said this to his son: "You leave that girl, and see if you can arrange to go out with the girl downstairs". They started going out together. They exchanged phone numbers on our retun from Chinarcik. They had bonded, Mordo started calling continuously. I tried to keep the peace despite the opposition of the father. Her father did not want his daughter's education to suffer. She had been accepted to Notre Dame de Sion Highschool without a test because of her high grade point average at St. Pulcherie. But that year, because of Mordo's phone calls and going out, she failed her first year of highschool.

Dad did not know she was dating. If he knew, he would kill me first. One Saturday, she came a little late. Her father turned to me and said: "If this girl is seeing someone, I will first kill her, then myself". He was so rigid. He was a very good father, a very good husband, but he was very conservative. I acquiesced, I was raised in such an environment anyways. But when it came to Sara, we had to formalize this union. She was only 16 years old. Her father who was at Sara's engagement, unfortunately could not witness her wedding. The day Sara was married was a beautiful day, my brother-in-law and older sister held the thallis. In this way, my older sister happened to hold the thallis for me and my daughter.

Sara had two children named Elsa and Yoel. Yet this marriage did not work out. My daughter endured very stressful days. But since she is a resilient girl, she overcame these obstacles too. Today Elsa is married. Yoel continues his education. Mother and father only came together to hold the thallis for Elsa.

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Interviewee: Rebi Evgin
Feride Petilon
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Istanbul, Turkey


Elsa Nasi
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