Monday, February 11, 2008

A rainbow of scarves

This past Saturday Evren and I headed to the engagement ceremony/dinner for my friends/co-workers James and Rumeysa (hailing from Cali and Istanbul, respectively). They met last year here at Zaman -- where else, we pretty much all live at work. Anyways, when we got there none of the rest of the paper crew had shown up yet and as I scanned the room I quickly realized that I was the only adult woman without a headscarf and in a sleeveless gown. Funny how this doesn't really phase me anymore. I've become so used to being the odd-one-out in pretty much every situation that the oddness has become my normal. Finally the Zamanites showed up and we found a table together. Evren was visibly bored since he was seated across from one of our less talkative columnists and he's more used to somewhat livelier events. I started studying the many scarf styles to entertain myself, my eyes drawn toward one that looked like watercolor paint splashes in one corner and another that looked like a really intricate tattoo in another. Then I moved on to observing the tulip patterned ceiling and walls. This was my first engagement ceremony here in Turkey, although I've been to many weddings. J and R exchanged rings and R's father kissed her hand at one point. There was a full dinner and afterward a multi-tiered cake, appearing very much like a wedding cake.


Ardent said...

Devi, that was an interesting Post. My congratulations to the newly engaged couple. But what I was fascinated to read, was that the people of Zaman newspaper all wear headscarfs? Even the lovely lady getting engaged is dressed very conservatively. I thought the people of Istanbul were a lot more liberal?

Devi said...

Ardent, actually only one table was from Zaman. The rest were all her family and friends. However, it's still true that most women at Zaman wear the headscarf. Zaman is part of the Fethullah Gulen empire, which is busy promoting Islam throughout the world via various means. Istanbul is a diverse metropolis and while liberal in general still has large conservative neighborhoods, like the one I live in for instance.