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Friday nights in high school,
my friends would go out,
they would make out,
they would go to the movies,
they would go to the malls.
I had to go to church, this a true story!
Strict Rules Your Immigrant Parents Might Have Had
First of all, we weren't allowed to go to any sleepovers.
Sleepovers were a no.
They were insulted.
They're like, "Why would you want to sleep at someone else's house?"
"Someone might touch you, or like, abduct you."
"I didn't work hard
for you to sleep at somebody else's house,
you gon' sleep right here."
I wanted to paint my nails and talk about cute boys,
and like, my parents were like,
"Hell no, they can come sleep over here"
"You can't go to their house"
I'm still friends with my friends,
and their parents are great.
I guess my parents just didn't fully know that,
coming from a different country,
it's hard to trust people who you don't know from like day one.
I'm Egyptian, was raised Muslim,
and in my household that meant that we couldn't wear
anything that was provocative.
Nothing low cut, no short shorts,
and nothing that showed off your midriff at all.
We had to have Indian food for dinner, no matter what.
We didn't go like McDonald's.
We didn't go get like fast food at all.
My mom got really confused by after school clubs.
She thought it was the same as clubbing,
so she was very strict on like which ones I'd join,
and was like, "You're too young to go clubbing!"
And I'm like, "Mom, that's not the same thing."
We can't leave the house until we're married.
That even kind of went into us going to college,
we couldn't go to colleges very far or even apply.
I was not allowed to celebrate Halloween.
My parents said that Halloween was the Devil's birthday.
And that I was not able to dress up in costumes
'cause it was a sin.
But anyway, I basically had to make this book report
and convince my parents that Halloween
is not a sinful holiday to celebrate.
And then I, thankfully got to celebrate it for the rest of my life.
It was more around grades,
you know they wanted straight A's,
that's who they were.
Gotta greet your parents,
gotta greet all elders.
Super important.
That's probably like one of the most important things.
Cleaning a lot.
We were responsible for making our bed every morning.
We weren't allowed to sleep in.
I don't understand why.
Let a kid sleep, please!
Well first, we couldn't drink soda.
I mean, we could eat sweets,
but like, when she would pack our lunches,
she would only put one sweet thing
and it had to only be the serving size of the sweet thing.
So if it said like half a cookie was a serving size,
you know my mom is giving us half a cookie.
In my early childhood, I grew up in New York
so I had to make sure I was home
by the time the streetlights were on.
If my friends drove,
I wasn't allowed to go in the car with them.
My dad didn't trust their driving skills,
'cause they were brand new.
That stuff was just a little bit much.
I think they could've relaxed a lot,
especially when it came to curfew.
I would be five minutes late,
and then I would get grounded for two weeks!
That ain't right!
A lot of it went back to how hard my mom worked
when she was a child,
which like is incredible.
But as like a child in a different circumstance,
it was very hard to understand.
I get it.
I also get that my parents were really doing their best
to kind of enforce their culture,
which is difficult
when your kid is growing up
in an entirely different country; in an entirely different space.
There's a lot of harassment that takes place
if you're a woman in India.
I've been through it personally,
when you're kind of exposed to that,
I guess you're going to be a little more protective of your daughters.
Growing up in a strict household
helped me to stay very focused.
It kind of made me realize what's important,
which is family.
My parents had the foresight to make sure
I was good and I made it to this age,
so you know, shout out to them!
They wanted us to be close to our culture
because we're so far away from like our homeland.
My ethnicity and my identity as an Armenian
is like very strong because of that,
and I really appreciate that,
and at the time, I know I didn't.
Let your kids figure some stuff out,
but make sure they're home by the time the streetlights come on.
That's how I feel.
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Weird Strict Rules Our Immigrant Parents Had

21378 Folder Collection
Stephanie published on February 2, 2018    Stephanie translated    Cyndi reviewed
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