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Respect: Turkish-Maori family gives back to Mother Earth

The Kevorkyan Family

In Brookfield lives a family of three: mom Mikelle, dad Edi and their 15 month old son Achileas Kevorkyan. Although they have been living in the United States for almost 9 years now, they are originally from different continents. When they moved here, they brought some traditions and customs from their lands of origin and integrated that in their American lives.

Mixed Cultures

The Kevorkyans have amazing cultural backgrounds. Edi is born in Istanbul, Turkey. His mother is Greek and his father Armenian. Mikelle is from New Zealand and from a Maori tribe. In their house you’ll find many influences of those mixed cultures. From beautiful colored Turkish porcelain to New Zealand's Kiwi Bird coasters. Mikelle even has a tattoo on her ankle. It shows a whales tail as a protection for traveling over water. That sign is specific for her tribe, her family.


Both Mikelle and Edi made their careers in the Hospitality Business. And that's how they met: traveling the world while working on a cruise ship. They did that for years until Edi was offered a promotion, meaning he had to work on land. Mikelle and Edi settled in Miami at first. There they made friends with lots of immigrants from different cultures. Latinos, Europeans, Asians. People from all over the world. They really enjoyed living in such a vibrant intercontinental community. But after a couple of years another career opportunity opened up to them. This time Edi started working as Ass. General Manager of a big hotel in Milwaukee. So they moved.

Born in the USA

Their son Achileas was born in Milwaukee and is an official American child. His parents teach him how to talk English. And Greek. And Turkish. Although he is still a baby and doesn't speak yet, he seems to understand all those languages. Edi and Mikelle find it very important for Achileas to know where his parents come from. But at the same time express that it's important to adapt to other cultures, and to respect it. And they are the perfect example of that.

Giving back

In their yard there is a special spot. Right between some Evergreens. It is where Mikelle and Edi buried their sons Placenta. It is a Maori tradition to give it back to mother nature. It symbolizes the babies link to the earth and serves to thank her for life. Although the doctors had never had somebody ask for the Placenta after giving birth, they immediately consented. So Mikelle not only took her newborn son home, but also the lifeline that had so strongly connected them for over nine months.

The Kevorkyans at the exact spot where the placenta is buried

People like the Kevorkyans are enriching the US society, if you ask me. It is so nice and inspiring to listen to their stories! It was great to meet them and get a glimpse of cultural customs that I never had before. Thank you for introducing me to your world Mikelle, Edi and Achileas!

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