Sunday, November 8, 2015

"Göz ichinde kalir"

A memory of a conversation between Uncle Paul and Marash Girl's father Peter, both of whom were born in Marash in the early 20th Century, and escaped  death at the hands of the Ottomans during the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

Newtonville, Massachusetts, 1960

Paul:  I just put down a deposit on the house on Page Road but Nectar is insisting that I should remove that deposit -- that she saw the house first!  

Peter: Why would you remove the deposit?  She could have put a deposit on the house herself!

Paul:  I have to remove my deposit and let her have it.  Göz ichinde kalir! (Marash Turkish) (In Istanbul Turkish, Gözün üstünde kalmasın!)  

Peter:  Are you crazy?  Forget the göz!

But Paul could not forget the göz, the "eye" (evil eye?) which would always be upon the house, jealous, envious, and possibly evil, should he buy it, so he graciously backed out of the sale and allowed his cousin Nectar to buy the house, much to Peter's dismay.

And so, awareness of the  "evil" eye was alive and well, even in the late 20th Century, even in the United States of America, even in a Christian family!

Even with folks who never wore the blue bead!


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