Sunday, 29 March 2009

Like a Virgin?

Having lived in the UK for 8 years now, I have almost mastered the skill of a small talk. It is quite easy, really. All you have to do is talk about nothing you really feel or think, and you have cracked it. Occasionally, I still manage to blab something out. I had that problem all my life, really. But it just seems worse in this country, as people are so PC, and all subtle and polite.

Take yesterday, for example.

We are up in North Wales, for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. That is understandably worth a huge party (and a medal each).

So here we are, having one of these big English parties. I quite enjoy them these days. At first, when I just came over, I found them to be hard work for a scary azeri like myself.

To start with, they play games. Everyone has to participate, whether you are a child or a geriatric- there is no escape. Have a few drinks, and stick your face in flour, water, or some other substance: great fun.

My other problem is that they have not ever seen any Azeries in North Wales. It is only when I come here, that I realize how easy it is to be a foreigner in London or around it. Up in North Wales, they don’t really have any foreigners, besides, of course the owners of Chinese restaurants and curry houses. So I always get this strange feeling when I meet someone new here, that they are not really talking to me properly, but just thinking to themselves ‘Holy crap, she can speak English!’ And that alone amuses them every time I open my mouth.

So we have the usual little chit-chat. About those cute bunnies and the little lambs in the field outside.
I managed well for most of the time yesterday, except for one silly joke about those little lambs probably tasting quite good on a BBQ. ( Was not entirely a joke, as being a scary azeri I could live on kebabs.)

But other than that, I did OK. I helped, and socialised. I stayed away from afternoon drinks, which meant I was still awake and sober by 10pm. And yet… in the end, when everyone left, and only the hard core remained, someone made a joke about losing virginity. They said it is a bit like losing one’s virginity: once you lost it, that’s it. Gone forever.

and I thought : Well, not to a good Azeri girl it isn’t!

Ha!- I thought proudly.- You average English guys have no idea what is going on in this world, do you. And how advanced our medicine has been for years.
Beat that, NHS- Getting your virginity back is not a miracle, but something totally possible and affordable back home.

Things must have changed a lot. I have not lived there for a while, and every time I go back, girls look more and more emancipated. So perhaps, this is a thing of the past.
Maybe, nobody needs to have anything stitched back up these days to prove they are pure.

But back then, in my young(er!!) days, there were all these stories circulating around:
What was the going rate, and what problems it might cause, should it be done badly, on the first night when a marriage is to be consummated.

What also always amused me is how any man can naively assume that:

virginity = innocence

I think it is quite funny, really. I knew a couple of so-called virgins back then, whose sexual experience would make a porn star blush. The imposed restrictions forced their creativity to blossom, so to speak.

But I of course, did not get into all these details as we joked about losing virginity last night. As I made a comment about it not being so difficult to become a virgin again, everyone smiled and looked at me. Probably thinking: ‘What on Earth is she talking about? Must be a foreign thing.’

So I just shut up and stayed quiet for the rest of the night. Some things just fall into a “untranslatable folklore” category.

But hold on a minute… Google is your friend, and I quickly discovered that the NHS are in fact, catching up on this front. Having looked the subject up, I came across some fascinating facts.

So they might not get many foreigners here in North Wales… yet, the influence of the foreign cultures establishing themselves in this country is staggering And things like virginity restorations, which were once unheard of, are becoming a common procedure on the NHS.

Oh, I am sure it is not only the barbaric traditions that we foreigners bring along, but something cool and useful as well. If I think of an example, I shall make it another posting.


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  2. Interesting post, especially as it comes after our own little issue with virginity on International Women's Day:

    Burying the Red Apple

    Do you have a similar tradition such as Red Apple in Azerbaijan?

    Armenia: International Women's Day action sparks virginity debate

  3. Perhaps if you were to call it the "Humpty Dumpty Cure" and sing "Come Together", even the Brits could understand...

  4. Ha-ha-ha
    As scary jew from Azerbaijan, I always wandered WHEN you'll write about this? Even my husband from Leningrad doesn't always understand this... interesting tradition :)))

  5. "Restoring a girl's virginity" happens in Europe as well. In my native Holland quite a few Moroccan and Turkish girl undergo hymen restoration surgery before they get married, just to make sure they bleed in their wedding night when they are supposedly losing their viriginity.

    Apparently in Armenia, where I live now, similar procedures are 'en vogue' among sexually active unmarried girls in Yerevan.

  6. Interesting post. I thought virginity was only a Middle-Eastern thing (and an ancient European thing) when I found out it is crucial in Indian, Romany and sub-Saharan African tribal cultures. :-S

    Just makes me even happier to have been born a European. I wish my sisters from the ethnic groups above enjoyed the same equality and respect us European women do. By marrying a Brit you ensured your daughter a good future. Well done!

    What else do I wish for? I wish that not ALL European men follow your husband's path and marry an Asian because someone has to marry us Brit women too. :-P

  7. @Anonymous: I am not an Asian.:) But I see what you mean.

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