Ashgabat, 9 March 2012 (nCa) — Matriarchy is well entrenched in the world already but the women are very kind; they don’t shove this fact in our face. It will break our hearts.
Take the example of our home where I am a minority of one against my wife and my daughter. They are the government and I am the people. Our grandson is still too small to be of any help to me. ——- On 7 March my wife kicked me out of the house with a military order wrapped in velvet, “Were you planning to go out and buy some gifts for us?”
I was about to argue that gifts would be cheaper after 8th of March so let’s wait for a couple of days but logic is not always conducive to peace.
Like all obedient husbands worldwide I walked to the gift shop, accompanied by our grandson on his tricycle.
It was a time to reflect; chiefly on the prism effect that 8th of March brings to Turkmenistan.
The prism, as we know, is a simple piece of triangular glass that splits the light into its component colours and bends them at different angles so that each colour is visible separately.
The international women’s day is traditionally a much anticipated and zealously celebrated holiday throughout the CIS space including Turkmenistan.
It is people’s holiday and people celebrate it the way they like. It is also one of those occasions when the national life enters the prism.
The government of Turkmenistan had arranged countrywide song-and-dance shows and a wide array of other colourful activities. Entry was free and soft drinks and refreshments were on the house. People came in required numbers to participate. They didn’t seem to mind that the predominant theme of all songs was what it was before the 8th of March and what it will be after the 8th of March.
Simultaneously, people patronized in large numbers the events where the official script was totally absent. For example, the Rovshen Nepesov orchestra presented a jazz concert at the circus building where the seating capacity is about 2500. Entry was US $ 10 per head and the hall was nearly full. It was jazz, pure jazz, without coming anywhere near the theme that predominated officially arranged concerts.
When we reached the gift shop, it was full of men in panic. Even though white rose is the officially preferred flower, the men were buying bouquets in all colours of the rainbow, as per the preferences – or orders – of women in their lives.
This reminds of mosques on Friday. The Imam sends a wide range of prayers to the heavens and the worshippers add their Amen to some selected prayers. For some prayers there would be a loud Amen, for some it would be merely a conversational Amen and some of the prayers must float skyward without any Amen.
In short, people would go along with whatever the government wants but they would also add their own colours to their life, in many ingenious ways. The government does what it does, sometimes without explaining why it is doing so, and the people would do what they want to do, filling the empty space in their own way.
It is a woman’s way of going through life: avoid friction, follow the path of least resistance, keep moving forward without being loud about it, enjoy what is here and now, add colour and flavour to life in accessible bits and pieces, plan big, act small.
As I said, it is matriarchy through and through. Look at the Russian language. If a man acts foolish, there are several words to label him such as durak, peredurak, durachok etc. However, if a woman does the same thing, the language suddenly goes dry: there is just one word – dura. And, God help you if you utter this word in her presence.