Get To Know: Harvin Mezgin

I am not your average Kurdish girl. Most of the time people don’t even recognize me as a Kurd in my city because of how sectored off I am from the Kurdish community. Now, I may receive hate from this but listen to my story and maybe you’ll get a glimpse of why I am so uninvolved in the Kurdish community here in Hamilton, Ontario.

I’m 19 years old and I attend Western University in London, Ontario. I’m studying a major in Health Science and a minor/major (still undecided) in sexuality studies. Growing up I always knew I was different than every other Kurdish girl. I was never raised to cook, clean and one day attends to a boys needs. You see typically all the girls that I had met at weddings, and events had the same or similar order to their lives. It was the goal of becoming the perfect housewife for their husbands one day. Girls were striving to find a boyfriend at the age of 15, learning how to cook eprax, biryani and fasoolya. Their parents never let them leave their houses past 8 o’clock unless it was another Kurdish family, and to be quite frank they didn’t really involve them selves in their school community or Caucasian friend groups. I know this because I went to high school with quite a few Kurds. It was also hard because my family was very progressed mentally growing up- don’t get me wrong I’m not calling every other parent stupid but just more restricted when it comes to their daughters. There is one thing my parents taught me growing up and that’s respect, education, responsibility, and trust are 4 key things in life.

My parents allowed me to go out to friends houses till late, I was able to have pool parties, wear clothes that girls usually weren’t allowed to wear at my age, I could introduce my parents to my guy friends up until now and it would not be weird. I was able to go to sleepovers after a certain age and today for the past 2 years I have lived on my own in London, away from my parents with my amazing roommates.

You see my parents were able to understand that this is a different generation and that by being strict on your kids and not giving them freedom, they will only rebel more. If there is one thing that I always try to get other girls to understand, it's that we need to stop fantasizing about marriage and kids since we are able to understand what that even is. Getting married at the age of 17 isn’t for everyone and I’m not saying it's wrong, you do you. What I’m saying is there is a WHOLE world of opportunities out there and there is so much damn time to find someone to spend your life with. Enjoy YOU. Finish your education, get a degree, travel, get your dream job, TRAVEL, meet people from around the world, TRAVEL, do stupid teenager things so that one day you can grow up and look back on all the fun you had, and most importantly TRAVEL. It's so important to know yourself before you get to know someone else, I cannot stress this enough.

I am so blessed to be raised by parents that understand that in order for me to be happy, I must do what’s best for me. Girls, I want you to know how important it is to talk to your parents and end the damn stigma around Kurdish girls striving to be the perfect daughters one day because I have met too many young moms that have literally cried so many tears regretting the decisions they made at such a young age. For those of you that live in westernized countries, our parents have done so much for us to get here. Make something of yourself so your parents can say “wow look at my daughter's diploma, I did this for her”. I hope you’ve put it together that I could never involve myself with any of the Kurdish girls here because I was honestly outted for being different, and I couldn’t involve myself with people that talked bad about me for being different. Despite all of this, if you know me you know I love Kurdish weddings because of all the dancing. Your girl knows every Kurdish dance in the book, and I take pride in being pretty well known for my dancing skills back in Hamilton haha.

If any one was wondering I hope to one day go to Med school and try and help girls in Kurdistan become successful and also helping out within the healthcare system back there. If any of you have any questions or just want to talk about how you could approach your parents about the way you feel about their restrictions and such I am always here to talk- follow my insta @hmezgin.

My name is Harvin Mezgin and I am a proud Kurdish feminist.

Hope everyone’s having a blessed summer, and thank you Alin for giving me this opportunity, love u.

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