A taste of Turkish Culture - Henna Night

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henna_night.jpgIn any culture the rituals of marriage can bring tears of joy and sadness. With every welcoming gesture of being part of a new family, there is also a sad farewell to your own family and history. On March 26th a Turkish Bridal Party or Henna Night was sponsored by the Raindrop Turkish Cultural Center in Lenexa Kansas. Women of the Book experienced a Turkish tradition for celebrating the evening before the wedding. Handmade items were displayed. These gifts from the mother and mother-in-law are seen as examples of the domestic talents of each family. The bride enters the room veiled and sits in the middle of the gathering as a sad story is sung about a young woman who leaves her family to live with her husband.  (March 26, 2009 Lenexa, KS)

She is so sad that she becomes sick and dies before she sees her family again. With this touchy music the mother-in-law offers the veiled bride gold as a promise for a prosperous new life. The gold is placed in the closed hand of the bride. And when the bride agrees that this is enough, she opens her hand and uncovers her head as a sign of acceptance. The tears stop and the celebration begins.

First the bride's hand is painted with henna as a symbol of commitment to her new life. Then there is eating and singing and dancing. Everyone celebrates the joy of marriage.

Here is the traditional song and its translation into English.

High High Mountain Tops

They shouldn't build homes high up on the mountain tops
They shouldn't give girls to faraway lands

They shouldn't neglect the mother's one and only
May the birds carry the message
I miss my mother
Both my mother and father
I miss my village
If my father had a horse, he could jump on it and come

If my mother had a sail, she could open it and come

If my siblings knew the way, they could come

May the birds carry the message
I miss my mother
Both my mother and father
I miss my village

Yüksek Yüksek Tepelere

Yüksek yüksek tepelere ev kurmasınlar

Aşrı aşrı memlekete kız vermesinler

Annesinin bir tanesini hor görmesinler

Uçan da kuşlara malum olsun

Ben annemi özledim

Hem annemi hem babamı

Ben köyümü özledim

Babamın bir atı olsa binse de gelse

Annemin yelkeni olsa açsa da gelse

Kardeşlerim yollarımı bilse de gelse

Uçan da kuşlara malum olsun

Ben annemi özledim

Hem annemi hem babamı

Ben köyümü özledim

 

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