Anne, Anneeee!

It looks like the Turkish mother has to be available constantly. ‘Anne’ she is called, like our ‘Mummy’. Or, more often heard, ‘Anneeeee!’ The word comes through my open window all day long in the small apartment that I rent in a somewhat shabby neighbourhood. From early in the morning till rather late at night. Anneeee, anneeee, anneeeee! Three times. Or ten times, or twenty. Anne seldom answers the call of her offspring immediately. Anne lets them shout endlessly as she is working in the house. 
I wonder if Dutch children scream ‘Mama mama mamaaaa’ all the time, but I don’t think so. Are small Turks such wimps that they can’t handle even a minute without mummy? Is Anne giving them so little of her attention that they have to scream to be heard? Is the Dutch mama so afraid of neglecting her children that she always immediately reacts to the first ‘Mama’? Or is this just showing the difference between Dutch home life and Turkish outdoor life and does this outdoor life just make nagging more visible? 
I imagine the life of the average mummy in this neighbourhood. She’s not rich – in general she lives in a beautiful but very old and dilapidated wooden house. Through the barred windows I see her beating her carpets, I smell the food she’s preparing in her kitchen, I hear her sweep the staircase and see her hang the laundry on a line in front of the house. And when she has a break, she talks with other Annes on the small front staircase., In short, unlike the average Dutch mama, Anne is practically always there. Maybe, I conclude, that’s why she usually doesn’t immediately react to the first ‘Anneeee’. Being physically there is one thing, always willing to be available is no doubt something totally different.

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