Monday, October 29, 2007


It's time to swap out the wallpaper on my computer.

But not before I immortalized it on my blog.

For the past few weeks, I had an article about the Sünnet ritual in Turkey that I found online up as my wallpaper. It was from the Hürriyet Gazetesi, August 14, 2005.

I tried to convince myself having this as my wallpaper was to practice my Turkish. But, let's face it, it's up there to torment ICP.


The Sünnet - or circumcision - is one of the more important religious rituals in Turkey. Traditionally, it happens when the boy is between 6-9 years old. Some couples are choosing to have their sons circumcised at birth, but for the most part, the traditional way is still most common.

While in Turkey, I always heard the celebrations, as families threw parties for the occassion. Most common in the city of Antalya, as I remember, was to dress the boy up in his appropriate attire, then drive the boy around town in the back of a pick up truck, while a band played music as they paraded through the streets. The parade around town announced the upcoming ceremony, which was the first step into manhood.

Boys wear special costumes for this feast, which includes a fancy suit, a cape, a scepter and a special hat or sash with "Masallah", written on it. I always think of "The Little Prince" when I see this.


The Boys of Erzurum make a run for it

"About 300 working-class boys from 14 villages connected with Yakutiye Belediyesi of Erzurum were circumcised en masse yesterday in a festival organized for them in the village of Altunbulak. Dignitaries in attendance included an AKP Parliamentarian, and the AKP Mayors of Erzurum and Yakutiye respectively. At first everything went smoothly as the lads had fun dancing the halay (a folk dance performed by holding hands and forming a circle) accompanied by drum and zurna (a reed instrument somewhat like an oboe/clarinet).

But as the time for the mass circumcision drew near, the children became increasingly fearful -- and began to give ceremony officials and the local police-team a very hard time. Ten year old Ömer, for example, tried to hide by climbing up a tree. And while ceremony officials were persuading him to come down, the other sünnet-wary boys took off -- running away across an adjacent field. And, it took quite a long time before the (out-of-shape) police team could catch and gather them up again.

But finally, after their lengthy game of 'tag' with police (and under extreme pressure from their parents) the boys gave in -- and were circumcised."