P.N. – “Right now, I just realized how much of a theme Nature is in all of our dances. Nature plays a huge part in our own understanding of the world. It’s why we have these two characters, Karagoz and Hacivat, who represent the dichotomy of the city and the country, fighting. There’s a reason why we have this constant back-and-forth of going from the city to the farmland. I think the reason for this is that there are only a few really big cities in Turkey, and people who live there are very, very different from the people who live in the villages, and we have so many villages . . . Everybody comes from a village, and they move to the city. Only the newer generations are from the cities. On that subject, folk dancing has given me a deeper connection with nature. A more sub-conscious thing. I didn’t see how it impacted me before. I think Turkish culture teaches you to respect nature. SO . . .”
-“There’s this dance where, again, we’re crickets; and we have these spoons that we click to sound like the chirping noises. We dance in a circle together, kinda going around, to the music, and as it slows down the music breaks and somebody sings in the tone of a prayer. Here, we bend down and click our spoons.”
And that connects you to nature how?
“I guess because we’re portraying nature. It adds a much more mystical aspect to it, because, like, we have such a disconnect – especially now – with nature as an entity, because we use it more as a backdrop. These dances help me keep nature here at the forefront. Because; think about it, we exist because of nature, and I don’t think we focus on that enough.”
For me, this dance brings to light a very different topic. While this person’s other dance reminds her of hardship and oppression, this one brings up thoughts of responsibility. The environmentalist thought that everything we do counts, and that it is our duty as inhabitants of this planet to be mindful, is mightily prevalent here. It makes me wonder how the idea of environmentalism, modesty, and perspective play roles in our everyday lives, as well as in our cultures.