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Assyrian Chaykhanas and Cafes are Ruining our Society!
By: Ashur Sada. June. 24, 2007

How could a simple cup of tea or coffee, playing cards and some buddies, be a threat to an entire society? Well they shouldn’t be, but for some Assyrians, it is! We are talking about Assyrians’ male obsession with Assyrian Café places, or as we call them ‘Chaykhana’ But what is with this fixation and addiction to these bloody tea pubs? Sure they could be fun and a good place of socializing with friends, but Assyrians take it too far sometimes, especially the married amongst us. Unfortunately, every hour spent at these cafes, is an hour taken away from being with the family. And the result is nothing less than a further erosion of family values and union.

For anyone reading this, you must know of at least one or more Assyrian relatives who spend more time in the Chaykhana after work, than they do with the family. This minority of careless husbands, Chaykhana-loving, family-abandoning men, becomes a majority when magnified under the microscope of society. An Assyrian wife is almost cheated on before she even gets engaged. As marriage life begins for Assyrian couples, and where a couple starts building their social nest, the two have to be together and sharing some good company in the presence of one another. Not for our subjects here, where the wife endures some lonely nights, waiting for her husband to come back and join her on the dinner table or even on the bed. He is too busy cheating with his beloved triad: his cup of tea, playing cards, and his buddies!

There has to be some solution to this, don’t you think? It starts with the very husband, how he is raised, and who his friends are. Sure, we are getting better, in that we are no longer spending most of our time at a Chaykhana, but have substituted that with a Tim Horton’s or a Dunken Donuts. And believe me, not only is the coffee better at Tim Horton’s, you are at least allowed and even encouraged to bring your wife to meet up with other family friends and relatives there. Yes, Tim Hortons and other coffee places, are the North American version of our Chaykhana, but at a much more modernized social level. Assyrians’ lack of any true community and social clubs, also contributes to this social disorder, so-called ‘Chaykhana.’ The key is to keep the ‘chaykhana-goers’ as busy and as occupied with their life, family and jobs, as possible. This way, they have a meaning in life, and will look for better things than to wait for the evening to be able to flock to the café.

There is nothing wrong with Assyrian Café places, also known as chaykhane. There is also, absolutely nothing wrong with the men and people who go there. What is wrong is in turning these places into worshiping destinations for a lot of men, and making them their nightly living place. Your average Khinzada, Helane, and Najeeba deserve better than to be left at home alone, as if they are with no husbands. Not sure how the Assyrian Chaykhana-loving crowd will like my words, but I guess I need to start frequenting these places more often, to get to their heads. Boy, I already feel the heat!



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