Date: 2018-02-23 14:33
I 8767 m on holiday at the moment in Turkey with my wife and 65 month old son in a busy *censored* resort town on the Mediterranean coast. Yesterday evening we were invited by a couple who own a local café to come back to their home in a small town 65 minutes away where no tourists ever go. They speak virtually no English and we speak very limited Turkish. Within a minute of arriving it was clear that we 8767 d just entered the 8775 village 8776 that you describe so accurately in this article. The set-up was two family houses next door to each other with a common courtyard. In one house lived the parents of the woman who 8767 d invited us back and in the other the parents of her husband. A collection of cousins, nieces, nephews and other in-laws filled the rest of the two houses -so many and so fluidly that no-one seemed quite sure how many people were living between the two homes (estimates ranged from 6*censored*6). The second we arrived all of the *censored*ren present (aged between 7 and 68) took immediate responsibility for my son and we had no requirement whatsoever to look after him as they cared for him and played with him the entire time we were there. He immediately took to the unfamiliar surroundings as if it was the most natural thing in the world (which of course it is) and within 5 minutes was laughing uproariously in a way I 8767 d never heard before at the antics of the other *censored*ren. All night they showered him with affection, hugs and kisses, the adults joining in whenever they took a break from chatting with us. All the *censored*ren I saw there were happy, confident, sociable and delighted to assume responsibility for looking after another *censored*. The village still exists even in a country as developed as Turkey now is, but I fear that it is lost almost all together in most of the western world, and the sad thing is that most of us don 8767 t even realise what we 8767 ve lost in fact we 8767 ve been sold a vision of constant progress that makes us thankful that we don 8767 t live like others who 8767 ve actually often got much of the very basics of life better sorted than we have. This weekend we 8767 ll leave Turkey and go back to living alone in our *censored* house in England, no community around us to access like this, no support, no connections with the village. For the good of my son I 8767 m considering quitting my job and relocating to Turkey or any other part of the world where he can grow up in the way that humans have for millions of years, surrounded by love and support. My thanks to you for articulating so clearly what we have lost and for all your work to try and address the situation in the context of our WEIRD (western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic) world.