How would our life in migration look like without the phone?
With the new developments of the Internet and the new world of technology we Iranian should really appreciate all those people who are working to give us the chance to call home.
What do I mean? Calling home means calling to Iran, contacting our loved ones, and communicating with those whom our life are intertwined with.
Once in a while we have those phone calls which we wish we did not have. small or big requests from our families and relatives back home, who seem to think that we have carpets of dollar bills in our homes and if we want we could share a piece of that carpet with them. Many of us are scared of phone calls when we can not afford those requests, not to mention that we are unable to say no, and no does not always mean no for some of our families back home.
All the calls that make us to get emotional in this side of line because the longings, the dilemmas, and the injuries of migration are being expressed. Sometimes these phone calls save lives and sometimes it pushes people to the edge of craziness or self-hatred. We tend to be unaware of the impact of our spoken words even over the phone line.
Sometime we have calls that are for very good reasons. Phone calls to those we care about and those whom we like to hear their voice, a familiar voice that appears to understand us, and a voice that can validate our feelings.
We call because we need to share our life experiences with our loved ones or hear about their well-being Phone calls are truly part of our daily life, our Iranian daily life.
All the love calls from people who are marrying over the line of communication and over the phone calls for the arrangements. All the promises, words of love, encouragements, threats, interests, and plans that we Iranian pass down to the people on the other side of this long phone cord. And all the constructive and destructive conversations we have with our people back home, all and all these are constructs that challenge our lives every single day.
The impact of phone calls in our Iranian life are numerous and if we want to recognize them it takes books after books to be written.
However, it is important to identify some of the impacts which make our life miserable, different, unstable, and overwhelmed. There is a notion of not having any boundaries that make our lives vulnerable, nevertheless over a phone call. the impact depends on how long we have lived out of Iran, how fresh is our contacts, how much need there is out there for maintaining the contacts with people back home. There is no definite format for the impacts of phone calls in our Iranian life.
Certainly we can name many areas of our Iranian existence that are being handled over the phone with our loved ones back home.
Perhaps we can only look at one aspect at the time. How about marriage?
We are all familiar with those marriage issues that are being handled over phone calls with parents back home who try to intervene once conflict and marital issues are significant.
The topic of marriage therapy is fairly new in our Iranian culture. Couples have traditionally learned to discuss disagreements, challenges, and conflicts with elders.
Now the life in migration makes people use the phone to have someone to hear their issues in the marriage. The same as many marriages in the first place happened within the permission territory of our parents, divorce and separation has to also be (sometimes) confirmed or at least recognized by them.
We Iranian usually like to give advice, even to our adult children. Some parents although not knowing the circumstances in which their adult children live in, they do not hesitate to dictate what is right or wrong, good or bad, proper or improper.
There are many stories that many of us Iranian discern about how parents are influential in the life of their children, even over the line of telephone. There are some astonishing stories, true ones though, when a mother back home tells a son here in North America, whom to marry and what to do with their life.
It is incredible that many people can help their inability to make decisions by involving parents or relatives back home who have no idea about the actuality of life here in our communities we live in.
Not to mention that, many decisions about divorce, separation, news about educational successes, loss of friendships, or gain of new relationships are constantly being communicated to- with people back home.
This is certainly a sign for how our Iranian life in migration is still new and fresh. As much as we are trying to integrate into our new communities we manage to keep contacts, although very superficial ones with people back home.
With people I mean, parents, siblings, cousins, and friends. also all those contacts to government officials back home when some one on this side of the continent is trying to buy, sell, rent, or lease their properties.
It seems that arrangements or conflicts in our new lives are being handled by the taste of our old way of curing wounds.
Remember those years, whenever we had any wonderful, exciting, and rewarding situation we would run to our parents home or to those who would love to hear our stories. Now in our newly migrated life we may not have those people around us. Where do we turn to? We may call a person who is willing and interested to listen to us.
Over the phone we share many life experiences, stories, attachment issues and thoughts that are in need of being explored.
This reality is sometimes overwhelming in its nature, once we do not have any audience who can listen to us here wherever we live in; we pick up the phone to use our old patterns.
However, the painful reality is that our life and our circumstances have changed our life is never the same as when we lived back home. Many times our Iranian families who feel being isolated or alienated from their communities, they get stressed out about the unmet expectations in their new life. Phone calls may or may not help them at this point. The reality of life has to be looked at.
With or without phone calls, however we need to find meanings in our new lives, to view family rituals, roles, goals, and symbols in the light of our new realities. Surely, our family tasks and reunions at the end of the day, have changed.
Nothing is the same; we have to accept, to learn, and to cope. We still have the options of calling home, this is the least we can do when we need to hear some familiar voices. The good news is that phone calls these days are cheap compare to even twenty years ago, when many of us paid huge amount of money to phone calls, once we could not afford anything else. Now at least we do not pay that much money, yet, the quality of phone conversations and the reasons for the calls are the same. We care and we keep contact.
Life in migration with the new technology and computerized calling systems are really much easier today. We should appreciate this great aspect of our Iranian life, phone calls.
Note: This article was originally written and published in EzineArticles July 18, 2008by this author.