I know I have badly neglected my little blog over the last month! Life has been pretty hectic. One of the reasons is I have been arranging my son’s gig schedule here in Altinkum. Jordan likes to call me his Manager but really I’m just a glorified chauffeur! Anyway, they are all in place now and like a good mum/fan/chauffeur etc.. I have been attending all of them, 6 nights a week!! Now everything is in place, I can resume my regular musings.
Below is a little blog, inspired by a recent gig night
We all know the Turks love to dance, we’ve all seen it. There are those dancing bar boys that spin on their heads and look like they are going to break bones. Then there’s the younger generation who go crazy for the kolbasta and throw themselves around the dance floor with a work out that easily equals a zumba class and then, of course, there is the greatest of dances; the Halay! Folk dances handed down through generations and heavily influenced by the Ottomans. Each region has its own versions and although most of us refer to them as ‘Halay’, this is mainly from the East, South East and central Anatolia. Others include the ‘Horon’ from the black sea and the ‘Zeybek’ from our very own Aegean Coast, among others. These line dances, on the whole, reflect happiness and that is what looks like to me, happiness in a line.
I don’t know about you but when I first got dragged up to do a Turkish Halay in one of the bars many moons ago, I managed a cross between ‘New York New York’ and the Greek grapevine type dance. I have since learned to do it properly as I’ve attended more village weddings than I can count! There’s not just the one though, oh no, even though you remain in line as a group, the steps change from song to song. I am now at the stage where I recognise most of the songs and think ‘oh I like this one’ or ‘think I’ll sit this one out’ (dependent on what shoes I am wearing at the time!) It’s a bit like when the party dj play’s ‘agado’, you’re either really in the mood for it (drunk) or you’d rather hide in the toilets until it’s over!
As for the Halay, there’s a lot to be said for it though, standing in line, shoulder to shoulder, stepping, knee bending and shoulder bobbing in celebration of a happy occasion, it kind of makes you feel proud to be part of it and I actually really enjoy it.
Wherever I’m sitting, when I hear the first few bars of the Halay, my ears prick up and my foot starts tapping. It’s become like the Turkish version of New York New York to me and that’s why I was grinning from ear to ear last Sunday night at Pasa Restaurant in Akbuk;
Jordan (my son) was ending his last set with ‘Sex on fire’. It’s a song that has everyone on their feet singing the chorus and that always makes me grin as not everyone in the audience is a young thing and I love to see grey haired elderly ladies waving their hands in the air shouting out ‘your sex is on fire’. After this there was a last request for ‘New York New York’ and Jordan duly complied as the audience linked arms and started kicking their legs in the air to the beat, and then something magical happened….. Passing Turks linked hands, joined the line and started to Halay. I absolutely loved watching it. The universal language of music that has the ability to transcend cultures, that can convey every emotion and has the power to bring us all together in a moment of joy.
Here’s a little bit of Jordan singing Sex on Fire at one of the bars. You can see the audience love to join in!!
Anyone interested in following his progress, you can join his Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/233355776771876/
Peace out lovely people and let the music play on xx