Music of My Childhood

I feel better when I sing, so every morning before I get up, I try to sing a song. It reminds me of the best part of my childhood.

As a child, I wasn’t allowed to play. My mother and father said to me: “You’re a girl. You must be shy and quiet, like a good girl.” I accepted that. I didn’t go out to play.

But I still remember hearing the girls who were sitting outside, holding hands and singing Afghan songs like “Qu Qu Qu, Baregi chinar…”(Eds note: song translated below.) I really liked this song. Though my brother would beat me if I went outside, I could hear their voices from behind the door.

In my mind, I recorded the sound of those girls. Whenever I got bored or felt alone, I imagined I was with them. It made me happy. Sometimes I dreamt that I was with those girls, playing, laughing, dancing, and running. But when I woke up, I saw I was in a dark room, and alone.

My parents didn’t let me go to school. My mother tried to teach me things that didn’t interest me, like stitching and cooking. In my home, I felt I was living in a cage, not allowed to do anything. I grew up like this, far from everything.

I didn’t know anything about music, but it seems that I knew everything about it. Music became my best friend in my loneliness. It gave me inspiration, and it made me happy. My father and mother were against me hearing music, because they don’t know the real meaning of music. Others think music means nothing, but it has lots of meaning to me.

It’s really true what people say: music is food for the soul. It gives me energy and it teaches the heart.

Sadly, in Afghanistan it is not accepted for girls to try to learn to play music or sing. But I am one of those people who is interested in learning about music. I’d like to play the violin and guitar.

I really loved parts of my childhood, but I couldn’t enjoy it all because I was always working at home and I didn’t go school. Music gave me the joy I was missing. Music was my world. Because of it, I could find my happiness and forget all my sadness.

QU QU QU… baregi chinar (cries of a raven, the needles of pine trees)

DOkhtara Sheshta Qatar (girls sitting in a circle)

Mechina daniy Anarie (collecting the grains of pomegranates)

Mekhoran abbey Zamzam (drinking Zamzam holy water)

Kashke kafter mebodem (wish I was a dove, flying in the sky)

Kashke moiye mebodem da aw ray me bodem (wish I was a fish, swimming in the water)

By Shogofa

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4 responses to “Music of My Childhood

  1. Shogofa–A wonderful essay. Do you ever make up songs about your life? It seems to me that you sing from the heart.

    Keep it up–and keep writing as well!

    Best, Ann Blackman

  2. I hope you will continue singing — even if you never get the chance to learn to play an instrument. The words you write are like music, too. Your writing is beautiful.

  3. Your words touched me deeply. May God guide those around you to see the music of your soul and see beyond the gender that imprisons you so.

  4. Shogofa – I love to sing, too. And these words of yours really rang true for me, as well:

    “Music gave me the joy I was missing. Music was my world. Because of it, I could find my happiness and forget all my sadness.”

    I find that when I’m singing, it’s hard to be sad. Of course, singing can’t take away all the hard challenges of life, but at least it can give us a little break, enough to catch our breath and find our inner strength.

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