March 14, 2011

The Whirling Dervish whirling into a trance…… Turkey

Location: Sirkeci Railway Station, Istanbul, Turkey (41° 0′ 54″ N, 28° 58′ 38″ E )
Date: 19 April 2010, 7.50pm
Camera: Canon 400D with Sigma 17-70/f2.8-4.5

One of the unique experience of Turkey is to watch a Whirling Dervish Dance.; Whirling Dervish are members of the Mevlevi Order, named for their founder Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. The dance also known as Sufi Whirling is a customary dance performed within the Sema, or worship ceremony, through which dervishes (also called semazens) aim to reach the source of all perfection, or kemal. This is sought through abandoning one's nafs, egos or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning one's body in repetitive circles, which has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun. However today the dance is performed in many places especially in Istanbul as a tourist entertainment. To most tourists watching such a dance is more of an experience with a unique tradition of Turkey; it gets a little boring after 15 minutes.

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