I was born in Uzbekistan, which once was Persian, then Soviet Union, then Uzbekistan. The fact that I speak Farsi, Russian and Uzbek is a totally common thing. I was the first grandchild for my grandparents. My father is their oldest as well. My grandmother was the one who named me Sitora, which means Star in English. Since birth I spent most of my time with my grandparents in their big house full of herbs, vegetables, fruit trees and flowers. My grandmother read to me poems and legends of our heritage. She would teach me the meanings behind each message, the purpose of prayer. We laid together under the clear summer night sky, gazing at the stars, surrounded by the sweet scent coming from her rose garden, sharing dreams. We grew, harvested and used herbs for cooking, treating, and protecting. She had an herb called “Usma” that she would grind with a mortar and pestle and a deep dark green almost black liquid would be extracted. This Usma extract is the answer to any hair loss. Apparently I was born with a bald spot on my head, so she used this herb all over my head as well as my eyebrows. I grew up with the thickest and darkest hair and eyebrows out of anyone in my family. Now remember I am Persian so for us thick black hair and long defined eyebrows are the definition of beauty.
My grandfather was a known journalist, his intelligence was so animated and humorous, it was inspiring. He spoke many dialects of the Farsi (Persian) language. Farsi has 1500 different dialects, it is the native language of Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and among these countries every town and village has a totally unique dialect. He taught me Persian literature, history and chess. My grandfather also taught me how to work the Earth, how to nurture the soil, plant the seeds, protect the garden. This was our nature of living, we only knew to grow our own food and medicine, we did not have such things as health insurance in my country. We did not visit the doctor unless something was broken or it was a life and death situation.
From my mothers side, my grandfather was a scientist who studied sea life, and my grandmother was a professional singer and musician. I never met this grandmother, she passed before I was even conceived. In our culture, the children are raised by the fathers side, by law and or religion. So I grew up mainly with my fathers family.
When I was 5 my father got assigned to work in Netherlands, so I had to move to Europe. I fell in love with Holland. The people are pure and happy , the land is healthy, the government is just, everything is natural. Even though I was young I was very aware of these things. My mother would let me and my 3 year old brother go to the park by ourselves, that’s how safe it was. I spoke perfect Dutch, and I loved it, its a really fun language.
After 3 years in Holland my father was transferred to Germany, which was not quiet the same as Netherlands. Luckily he gave me the choice of staying with them in Germany or going back to my country to live with my grandparents. I chose to go back to my grandmother.
I went back home to attend the best school in our country. It was a Russian private school, my parents always believed that Russians have the best education system because they’re very tough. Besides being super tough academically, my school had an amazing art program. A few months after attending the school I discovered my artistic abilities, well, my teacher did. Once my grandparents found out I had a talent for art they wanted me to learn with my artist Uncle who had galleries all over Europe.
This was my life until I was 11. Most precious times, most priceless moments, I am so so grateful to have experienced.