Current Students

Zeynep: Everything starts with family

received_445641288936962Zeynep Ozturk writes about her experience learning about the American families, particularly through the opportunity to volunteer at the Daddy Daughter Dance sponsored by the Lakewood Parks Department. Zeynep is Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) participant from Turkey, studying media at Pierce College. 

Family is a small group of people, but it is so important because everything starts with family. If you want to change the world you ought to start with the family. Your family is the first place where you begin to form the ideas of who you are and who you want to be. I can see good examples in America, which has been known to be a successful and free country. It is not just about politics, economics or success. Being a part of the American life style for nine months, I have realized how much importance and respect the family gets here from the people in America.

I have seen this through my experiences. For instance, one day I went to my friend’s house for dinner, where her father helped his wife to prepare the table which was interesting to see because it is not often done in Turkey.  I also observed how they were talking to each other all the time, showing that they care what’s going on in each other’s lives. Another chance I had to observe the American family culture was while volunteering at the Daddy Daughter Dance which was put on by the Lakewood Parks Department.  I think it is really good cultural experience for everyone because a lot of countries do not have daddy daughter dances or other events for fathers and daughters to spend time together. In my opinion, by taking an evening to participate in an event like this, the fathers are teaching undivided attention, kindness, and their love to their daughters.received_445641295603628

As an example, my father died and I do not have a lot of memories of him. If we had a daddy daughter dance, I would have  felt like a princess the way my father always made me feel. I have just five memories, or maybe six, about my daddy. I could never forget these precious memories of my father’s love. While I was serving food, I was feeling jealous because I have never been to something like a daddy daughter dance. I felt sad for my loss but I was happy to watch how the fathers gave love and taught their daughters how to be a young lady, and how to behave on a date when they are old enough to date. They are showing them powerful life lessons, like confidence, believing in magical nights, the power of being important.

I saw one father who was wearing a blue suit and his daughter was wearing a matching blue dress like a princess. Her father pulled out her chair so she could sit down for dinner, it was so nice to watch. The father gave his daughter undivided attention danced all night. He put smile her face, I can tell she was really happy. They took a lot of pictures with a professional photographer and selfies. While they were taking pictures, I could see it was  not just a picture. It is a memory for a life time. She will have these memories forever in her heart.

Overall, the event was really memorable for daddy and daughter relationships. I took away from this experience if I have a daughter, she will go to the daddy daughter dance with her daddy. I was very glad to see how fathers share and teach the love with daughters by this magical event. The social event ended with the little girls twirling around in their dresses, holding hands with their daddies as they left the dance happy.

The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The opinions expressed in this blog by writers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Northwest Community College Initiative program, Edmonds Community College, Whatcom Community College, Pierce College, the United States Department of State or any employee thereof. NWCCI and Edmonds Community College are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied by student bloggers.

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