Yesterday I attended a baptism for my cousin's baby. Being surrounded by all those Turks in our family got me thinking. How can you tell a Turkish baby from the rest of the babies of the world? As a lifelong Turk since birth, I have often pondered this question. Ever since that baptism yesterday, really.
So I took it upon myself to draft up some informal guidelines.* Here's what to look for if you happen upon a possible Turkish baby:
1) The hint of a unibrow. Not really contrary to popular belief, Turkish babies are born with just one eyebrow. Around the age of 12, the brow is separated to prevent it from becoming too powerful. And the child is left with two brow territories, each ruled by its own governing body (a.k.a. those pesky nose hairs that live in the right nostril).
2) An overall not-from-this-century look. Sorta like a baby from a 19th century painting... by someone named something like Fredric van Eyck (yes, also one of the brothers in “The Sound of Music”… he was very prolific).
See below for an example of what a Turkish baby could look like:
3) An ornate, gold-rimmed evil eye pin on the baby’s shoulder. This is to protect the baby from the 1000’s of Mongolian invaders who undoubtedly want to learn the baby’s eyebrow maintenance secrets.
4) A slightly longer pinky nail finger on the left hand. This is for cutting yards of silk taffeta, paper towels and personal finance documents. It’s vert useful. Especially if the baby ends up in the fabric business, like many Turks who came before it.
5) A taste for the Turkish life. If your baby prefers the taste of sesame seeds to formula, or displays a love of ottomans and rugs and delicate ceramic plates, it is probably a baby Turk in disguise.
*Note: Of course, not all Turkish babies meet these requirements... but, if you're lucky, they will at least have that useful pinky nail. It cuts packing tape and price tags on clothing too!