Sunday, October 16, 2011

Headscarves, Beer and Bob Dylan....


This is a painting of a park in Istanbul, Küçük Çamlıca Korosu to be precise. Parks in this city are an interesting measure of the socio-religious make-up of an area. If you visit this park you will see the usual elaborate picnics and tea making apparatus that Turks use outdoors. You will see the usual hammocks strung up between conveniently spaced tree trunks. In this park however, fitting with the area, one will notice that most of the women wear a head scarf and are well covered up, so what you might ask, it's an Islamic country! 

However, if you were to go to another park down by the edge of the Marmara you'd see a different picture, in fact you might think you're in Europe. The bar-b-ques are the same, the tea making facilities also the same, but the clothing and entertainment? There will be more alcohol, a lot less head scarves and a more causal atmosphere. The people here would be more likely to be singing Bob Dylan songs sitting in circles smoking with a person playing a guitar with the odd can of beer.

These kinds of differences manifest the diverse mosaic which makes up this country, the city is ethnically fairly homogenous (if you count being a Turk as being of one ethnic group), but the socio-religious  differences are striking. What an interesting place....!

Anyway, enough anthropology.....

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