Who does the choosing in life?

I started this (too long!) essay about two years ago. Dear reader, feel no obligation. This is imperfect and at times inelegant, but I’m posting to refer to and build upon in the future. 1. Choosing to be a Homemaker I didn’t start out caring about gender, the chromosomes and cultures…

Wedding traditions in Kazakhstan

While taking language classes last summer, I scored an invite to a Real Kazakh Wedding. A few years ago, our research team interrupted huddled marriage negotiations in a Mongolian yurt, to ask marginally relevant questions about citizenship. And we were invited into a six-hour wedding’s eve party in another town. And…

8 March: Happy Women’s Day!

Children have been bringing in lavish flowers, chocolates, perfumes, and presents for their teachers over the last two days at Bilim-Tilim* school, and today we have the day off work. The Soviet holiday to honor women’s domestic roles, Vosmovo Marta (8 March) is still well-loved here, and outshines the…