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Whirling Dervishes, Sema

By nonur  
Last night, thanks to the Ministry of Culture, the ritual of whirling dervishes was performed for the first time exclusively for photographers at the Mevlana (Rumi) Cultural Center. There were more than two hundred photographers. We can only be thankful for it, but the lights (red, green and blue most of the time) were disappointing. We were informed that it will be repeated every year, lets hope that they will make it better next year.

Sema is part of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi as well as of Turkish custom, history, belief and culture. It is done as a form of remembrance of God.
Man as the possessor of a mind and intelligence is distinguished from and is superior to other beings. Thus the "whirling dervish" or Semazen causes the mind to participate in the shared similarity and revolving of all other beings… The Sema ceremony represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind and love to the "Perfect". Turning towards the truth, his growth through love, desertion of his ego, finds the truth and arrives to the "Perfect", then he returns from this spiritual journey as a man who has reached maturity and a greater perfection, so as to love and be of service to the whole creation, to all creatures without discrimination of belief, race, class and nation.
The dervish with his headdress (his ego's tombstone) and his white skirt (his ego's shroud) removes his black cloak to spiritually awaken to the truth, he journeys and advances there. At the onset and each stop of the Sema, holding his arms crosswise, he represents the number one, and testifies to God's unity. While whirling his arms are open, his right hand directed to the skies ready to receive God's beneficence, looking to his left hand turned toward the earth, he turns from right to left around the heart. This is his way of conveying God's spiritual gift to the people upon whom he looks with the eyes of God. Whirling around the heart, he embraces all mankind and all the creation with affection and love. (Taken from Celaleddin Celebi, shortened and modified)

Thank you all folks for the kind appreciation of my last image, I am especially thankful to Bernie and Walt for their generous User Awards.

Tags: Black and white Turkey Konya Whirling dervishes Sema

Voters: bliba, sawsengee, dven and 42 more



cats_123 Plus
19 5.2k 31 Northern Ireland
20 Apr 2017 7:37AM
Always found this aspect of culture interesting...pity about the lights...let's hope they listen to feedback Smile
bliba Plus
17 1 2 Austria
20 Apr 2017 7:53AM
would love to see them live......a wonderful capture

thanks for the interesing description

oliver WinkWinkWink
mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.8k 2590 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2017 7:55AM
I'm happy to see this in b&w, I don't feel the need for colour. This has an elemental feel. I immediately thought of the sacrificial dance at the end of Le Sacre du printemps. The fact that we can scarcely see any facial detail is important.
Bantu 9 7 1 India
20 Apr 2017 8:13AM
Lovely dance capture Nezih.

brian17302 Plus
11 2 13 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2017 8:32AM
Great sense of movement captured NezihSmile
woolybill1 Plus
16 39 79 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2017 8:38AM
Movement captured close to the camera appears faster than movement at a distance - a general principle perfectly illustrated here. The excitement of the dance is palpable, the choice of angle helping of course. And monochrome is one's firmest friend when faced with difficult lighting . . .
Excellent, Nezih.
20 Apr 2017 8:48AM
A delightful and clever shot, Nezih.Smile
NevJB 8 2 1 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2017 9:00AM
Wonderful shot that conveys the frantic movement. Thanks for all the info too - a few lessons could be learned here.
leo_nid 6 12
20 Apr 2017 9:04AM
excellent photography, nothing to add and nothing to take away
Nikonuser1 Plus
10 175 16 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2017 9:25AM
Excellent capture NezihGrinGrin

rambler Plus
14 1.1k 17 England
20 Apr 2017 10:13AM
Great shot and great explanation, love the perspective and movement.

dales Plus
7 13 Australia
20 Apr 2017 10:45AM
Wonderful twirls , terrific movement capture Nezih , would be excellent to see live
EMJAYCEE 13 10 10 England
20 Apr 2017 11:14AM
Perfect mono Nezih and many thanks for the explanation.
20 Apr 2017 1:35PM
Wonderful image
dimalexa 6 5 Greece
20 Apr 2017 6:14PM
A magic dance, a bridge between man and God! Zeimbekiko dance has much in common with whirling Dervishes, for me it's an extroverted ritual rather than introvert, as many argue. Every time I dance zeimbekiko, I feel something strange, like not to be inside myself... I can see and understand something similar in your photo, I think you understand, Nezih!
Perfect photo and explanation about this dance-ritual, thanks a lot Nezih!
jocas 8 6 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2017 6:25PM
wonderful capture of the ritual with a sense of frenetic movement , excellent explanation too Grin
mistere Plus
9 24 7 England
20 Apr 2017 7:09PM
Wonderful Nezih.

Tars 11 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2017 7:29PM
As usual a stunning capture and work
Fred263 11 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2017 10:22PM
Superb image, Nezih.
21 Apr 2017 7:35AM
Brilliant Nezih just Brilliant work by you on this shot the blurring of the figures in front is perfect..... Mono is excellent choice for capturing this interesting and ancient spiritual tradition .
cheers walt
Chinga Plus
12 112 3 United Kingdom
21 Apr 2017 9:18AM
I have heard of this amazing dances... A very admirable image presented Nezih!
Isabel GrinGrin
A perfect image, beautifully captured, Very nicely presented, Nonur.
Rende 16 38 4 Netherlands
23 Apr 2017 2:57PM
Beautiful capture Nezih!

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