Você está na página 1de 5

Tara Goldman Dance and Culture: Interview of XXXX 10/7/2013 Life of a Turk XXXX is from Turkey with a Muslim

faith influence. The Turkish culture is very diverse country with influences from Greece, Romania, Europe, Middle East and Central Asia (Wikipedia.org {culture of Turkey}). I met her in one of my classes and I chose to interview her because I wanted to find out more about the Muslim religion in particular. I could tell that she was different at first because of her accent. I observed that she seems to have a different sense of the world by actions and attitudes towards others; I admired this about her. XXXX has such a bubbly attitude towards life and towards others. While talking to her I found out that she never wants to speak negative because her idea of happiness is finding good within every situation. XXXX was very willing to meet with me. We spoke often during class and while walking with each other to other classes. XXXX is very open about her culture and religion; talking before the interview helped me get a sense on how open she would be during the interview. XXXX and I officially met once. From that hour and a half long interview, I gained so much knowledge about her. I truly enjoyed and still enjoy being around XXXX. One of the things I learned was that celebrations in Turkey are very common. Celebrations are very family and friend oriented. While in my interview, she told me that weddings are her favorite ways of celebration. Weddings to her are a parties that lighten the mood for everyone who is attending or even watching. At a typical Turkish wedding there are more than 300 people invited. Weddings in Turkey are one of the biggest events within a community. Those who are invited are treated extremely well. There are pre-parties where extravagant amounts of food are served and lively dancing follows. This type of celebrating can be a bit expensive! One major difference in the wedding celebrations from American culture is that the grooms family pays for everything: the dress, the party, invitations, everything (I think that I might just find a man in Turkey and marry him so I dont have to spend a dime). Weddings are big to me as well; marriage was one common trend that we related to each other with. Marriages equal happy

occasions. XXXX said that her favorite part of a wedding was what they did before the bride gets out of the car. Before the groom opens the door for the bride the groom asks family members how much they want to see her. People give him money trying to bribe the groom to open the door and let the beautiful bride be seen. This playful, humorous act gets everyone excited before the actual ceremony of matrimony. This to me is very romantic and I wish we incorporated this tradition in our weddings! After the ceremony there is a feast and a lively dance party. XXXX said that almost all of their dances are done in groups where people hold hands and dance in a circle. Tapping and jumping and skipping are common and the music is very upbeat and bouncy. XXXX said that these dances are extremely open to expressing yourself; she said that lots of people know how to shake their butts. I would love to be dancing there now, I am pretty good at moving to the beat with hips. There are also common traditional dances such as the waltz that are performed. XXXX said that she has learned the basic steps but has practiced the more difficult moves as well. I feel that while learning the waltz in class I have an understanding of how the movements can get more advanced. I would love to be able to know more difficult steps for the waltz. XXXX feels that dancing is a way to express herself and her beliefs. I feel that this is true for every culture. XXXX lived in a very family oriented home. XXXX said that almost every day before school or work that they would eat breakfast together. I appreciated this tradition (my family eats together as well, but generally the only meal we all sit around the table is dinner). Their breakfast consists mainly of black tea and eggs. XXXX said that her family used a lot of seasonings; they loved the exotic food that was prepared by their mother! No matter what meal it was, whatever is set out on the table, the foods was never mixed. Even when food was placed on a plate the food didnt touch it sat separated. This is very different for me. My foods always mix, I think that combining things make different flavors. I am open minded to try new foods and especially spicy food. I would love to sit down and have a meal with XXXX and just dip my food into other foods like XXXXs family does. During dinner time her mother and sisters were expected to cook and she was expected to serve the guests (if any) and her father a pre-

meal treat: black tea and sweets. Tea for XXXXs culture is very common for any occ asion. Tea is one of her favorite things and even now, tea is a basic staple in her food pantry. Offering tea to guests is very common. XXXX and I met in her apartment and the first thing she asked me when I got there is if I would like something to drink. I have been offered all kinds of drinks before, she offered me a few different types of teas. I chose not to drink tea and explained that for religious reasons I dont drink tea or coffee. This opened up a wonderful conversation about both of our religions and their differences. XXXX was raised in a Muslim practicing home. They prayed five times a day, some would be on mats in a specific room as a family, but sometimes they were expected to pray on their own. XXXX told me that her father would lead the family in prayer. While asking her why they did this she told me that since her father knew the most about the religion he led the prayers. I am from a religion that we pray together as a family and on our own; we dont have specific prayer though, we pray about what comes to our minds. Each member of my family, including my younger siblings have lead (still lead) us in prayer. This concept of family prayer unique to me, it was just a different form of prayer. The fact that both of us practice prayer and family prayer, is yet another binding similarity. XXXXs family has become modernized, by this it means that they are not forced to practice the family religion. XXXXs parents want their children to choose what they feel is accurate according to their beliefs. This is also what my family believes, they dont want to force something upon me or my siblings. Covering up skin is a common practice for Muslims. Showing your skin is seen as a temptation for males. XXXXs mother doesnt show her arms or legs or hair with her family, she has chosen to follow the footsteps of her previous ancestors. For XXXX the idea of being a Muslim isnt the same as others. She has chosen a different path: she shows her skin when she is out in the social atmosphere. Her hair is always done and she wears what she wants. Although she has chosen to follow her own path, her family is accepting of it. XXXX has not prayed with her family for a few years. Instead she goes in the other room and does her own things. The Turkish community has become modernized and it used to be a country that consisted of a lot of Muslims or Christians. Now people are more focused on their lives and dont focus as much on

religion. I have seen this modernization happening within our country too, not as much in Utah, but going and visiting other places I have found that this is almost a social norm. While talking about our religions we discovered we have similarities: no sex before marriage, big families, no drinking/drugs. We didnt get into deep doctrine because as stated before she doesnt really follow her religion too closely. But I learned enough to know that there are some really cool similarities when people believe in higher powers and the simple concept of being kind to everyone. Have you ever met a Mormon? What do you think about our religion? While asking XXXX these questions I was shocked with her response. Ive never met a Mormon. Well, at least she hadnt until a few month ago. XXXX said that people from Utah are very friendly, she has visited many countries that she say give the cold shoulder. Confused about what this meant I asked her if she could expound on this. She then told me that in her experiences, in most other European countries the people are selfishly concerned about their own wellbeing. Having a door held open for her, or hearing a thank you or a have a good day means a lot to her. XXXX said that back home people in her community are friendly as well. Hearing this from her shocked me, I have known that we have a lot of friendly people, and I have known that we have inconsiderate people as well. We talked about this and she said that we have been raised in a way that she wishes most people could. One difference XXXX has felt is that in America, it seems that everyone is rich. She has a part time job and she has a scholarship and with this money, she said that even she feels rich!

XXXX speaks seven languages so there havent been any real language barriers for her. She does however struggle with past tenses in English. These for her are tricky and she seems to ask people if what she is saying is correct a lot. One thing XXXX wished we had in Utah is better transportation options. She doesnt know how to drive and wishes she had more public access to get to further away parts of

Utah. She also hates the mountains. She doesnt know why, they just bother her; looming above and being so close to her. She thinks they are beautiful, but knowing that they are so high above her makes her nervous and feel enclosed within a place. I would have never said, Hey, one day, I would like to go and visit Turkey. But after talking with XXXX and hearing about some of the things about her country, she has peaked my interest in maybe going there. I would especially like to attend a wedding and participate in the lively circle dances they do. I wonder if XXXX is different to many other people who come to America. For the most part, she seems to have a lot of similar thoughts and feelings on life. She seems to think that it is different knowing that there are not very many Muslims from this country, but she said that getting away from the idea of social norms is a great experience. XXXX wished that more people knew her native language, she said that it would help others from the world feel more at ease when visiting. She said this because America is the mixing pot, but Utah doesnt seem to have a lot of variety and that is kind of disappointing knowing that it isnt the same as New York City. I know I have been nave to think that all other countries are not as good as America. I think I thought of other countries as third worldish. I think that we in America could learn a few things from other cultures and their way of life even down to providing better transportation. Interviewing XXXX has peaked my interest in wanting to learn about other people and cultures as well as it has made me reflect a little on how I interact within my own family, friends, classmates and community.