Author Archives: cebi

Umbilical cord

The following story is collected from my friend. He lived in Turkey for the most part of his life, then lived in Australia for some time. He talks about a Turkish tradition in this collection. This interview is done on phone. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.

A: “Is there any interesting Turkish tradition you know?”

B: “When I was born, my mother gave my umbilical cord to my aunt, who lives in Australia. My mom told my aunt that she wanted my cord to be buried in a park in Melbourne. And according to my mother’s beliefs, which is very common with Turkish people, when my cord is buried in one country or city, I should end up, or interact in a way, with that country at one point in my life. As a result, I ended up living Australia for 9 years, which can be shown as a proof of the fact that beliefs and traditions can sometimes be true.”

A: “What are the reasons for people to practice this tradition?”

B: “They bury for many different reasons. You can bury it in a park of the university that you want to study in the future. If you want your kid to be a doctor, bury it around a hospital. If you want your kid to be a soccer player bury it in a soccer field. Once you bury it in a university, this does not meant your kid will have to go that university, he can go to a better one. You can bury it in a university in Texas, just giving an example, but your kid can go to Harvard in the future. Main purpose is to make sure your kid gets a high education.”

A: “Do you know anyone else who practiced this tradition?”

B: “Yes, my dad. My grandmother buried my fathers cord to ODTU university in Turkey, which is one of the highest ranked universities in the world. He ended up graduating from that school. Another example is my friend’s father. His cord was buried in a hospital when he was young and now he ended up being the head of that university.”

A: “Do you believe this tradition works?”

B: “There are many cases this tradition was successful but this does not mean it works or not. People can be more motivated to achieve their goals with  this tradition and end up working harder.”

Burying umbilical cord is very common in Turkey

Hidirellez

The following story is collected from my friend. She lived in Turkey for the most part of her life. Now she lives in the U.S.A. She talks about a traditional event. This interview is done face-to-face. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.

A: “Do you celebrate any tradition?”

B: “Every year to celebrate Hidirellez, the new spring, we write our wishes in a paper and we bury them near a rose tree at midnight. After burying the paper we go to sleep. Next day, we wake up early in the morning, like at 6 AM,  and go back to the tree. We dig out the paper and walk towards the sea. Then we throw our wishes to sea, and the reason is that; we believe that, there are two souls that represent the earth and the water. “Hidir” represents the earth and he takes your wishes at midnight and brings it to god, I guess, and “Ellez” is the soul of the water, who makes your wishes come true.  And these wishes should not be seen by anyone else but the person himself or herself.”

A: “Do you practice this often?”

B: “Yes I try to practice every year. But could not for the last 2 years”

A: “What kind of things do  you wish?”

B: “Like I said before… no one should see your wishes”

A:”Do they camo true?”

B:” Yes they do”

A: “All of them?”

B: “Not all of them”

A: “Do you believe in it?”

B: “Yes I do believe in it but it’s more of a tradition then reality.”

A: “Is this a common practice in Turkey?”

B:” Yes and also Persian”

A: “Where did you learn it from?”

B:  “My mother and my friends, when I was in high school.”

Hidirellez is still one of the most famous traditions in Turkey and Iran

Astrology

The following story is collected from my friend. She is from U.S.A. This interview is done face-to-face. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.

A:” Do you know any interesting Indian belief? “

 

B: “Many indians believe in astrology. If you can plot when and where you are born, you can learn about your future.”

 

A:”Do you believe in it?”

 

B: “No, not really. I don’t believe. It is old fashioned tradition, I learned it from my mother. I think it is very traditional now. Became a part of Indian culture. It is a way of honoring your legacy. I think people can really believe in it sometimes. “

 

A: “Is there a person you need to see for this practice?”

 

B: “You go to astrologist and they tell you what you want to know. They charge a certain amount of money, it is their job. They can be vague about their assumptions, so there can be a better chance for them being correct.”

 

A: “Can you tell me more?”

 

B: “Astrology is also connected to Hinduism. You can which day for your wedding would be the most auspicious. There is a very famous Indian actress called, Aishwarya Rai. Because of her astrological beliefs, she married a tree before marrying her husband. This event was criticized because it is not modern. Many people see it as old tradition. My generation is usually less likely to believe in this, but older generations are more likely to believe.”

 

Dyatlov Pass

The following story is collected from my friend. She lived in Russia for the most part of her life. Then she lived in England for few years and now lives in L.A. She talks about a famous event, which up to this day not solved. This interview is done face-to-face. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.

A: “Is there any legend you can tell me about?”

B: “American director made movies about this. The story is called “dyatlov of pass” in English, I think. There were 6 teens from my city’s university. It was part of their vacation or something to go to Ural mountains. So they took a trip to the mountain. One of the girls wanted to go with them but she broke her leg just before the trip, so she could not go. She stayed but 5 of them went to the mountain. They had to return in few days but they did not come back. So a search team is sent and they were shocked by what they have found. The tent was cut and everything was damaged. Members of the group were killed brutally and some of them were cut in pieces For example; ears, legs, and hands were found in different parts of the place. Maybe they found one or two bodies, which were not cut in pieces but they were damaged as well.”

A: “What do you, or other people, think happened to them?”

B: “There are 5 theories people believe in.

1)    Something to with KGB. I think there was a hidden military base around the area. Group had to be killed because they saw something they should have not, like a secret operation. But this doesn’t make sense to me since KGB wouldn’t kill them this brutally.

2)   Yeti. Apparently, there are Yetis in the are and this makes sense to me, because when you see the pictures of what is left of these people, you think they are attacked by a monster. No officials materials were revealed about the event and it was a classified case. Many people heard that the tent was opened from inside, but there was blood outside. The thing that killed them was out of this world.

3)    There was a maniac like a cannibal who killed them brutally.

     I don’t remember the other theories but this case is still a mystery. I can’t come up with a reasonable answer.”

 

This event is very famous and known widely. For another version of this legend, you can check the movie “Devil’s Pass” by Renny Harlin.

HOCA

The following story is collected from my friend. He is from Turkey. This interview is done face-to-face. “A” refers to me, the collector. And “B” refers to the participant.

 

A: “Did you experience anything mysteries?”

 

B: “I am from Istanbul. I have a friend who is also from Istanbul, but he’s grandparents had a summer home in Kinaliada. He invite me to stay there for a couple of days and I accepted it. We were touring the island, late at night, and my friends showed me an abandoned home. It looked very old. My friend told me, a “Hoca” used lived there, who was known to have a relation with jins. We decided to explore the building, but did not want to do it at night. So next morning, we went to home and got inside. There was this horrible smell coming from the home.”

A: “Can you explain me who is a “Hoca” ?”

B: “People from all classes, can go to a “Hoca”, when they need advice for their personal problems. “Hoca” is believed to have a mystic powers. They are usually old man with long beard. People think they have connection to supernatural stuff.”

A:”Such as jins?”

B:”Yes”.

A:”Can you give me example of how someone can seek help from these people?”

B: “People, who come from any kind of background can go to a hoca, when they want something really bad or want to solve a problem. For example; Instead of going to doctor, or after they went to a doctor, for a medical problem, they seek advice from a “Hoca”. “Hoca” can pray to heal the person, talk to jinns, or create a mixture with herbs, like a magical potion.”

A: “Continue your story please?”

 

B:” So we got inside and looked around. It was empty and not much to see, but we noticed a crack on the wall. Crack was shaped like the face of a bull. We didn’t think much about it and left the home. Next morning, we were having breakfast and we asked my friend’s grandparent about abandoned home. Grandfather told a “Hoca” used to live there and his name was “Boga Hoca”.

A: “What does “Boga” means in Turkish?”

B: “It means bull. So when he said this, me and friends were shocked. Because we did not talk to him about the crack that shaped like a bull. “

 

A:” Do you think “Hoca”s have mystical powers to heal people?”

B:” I believe is that, after trying all practical solutions to a problem, people, who are religious or not, try to get hope from cultural tradition. People look for safety and comfort. Maybe Americans watch movies or read books to get comfort. In Turkey, people go to “Hoca”. I don’t think we should evaluate this tradition by standards of practical science. They are very different. A visit to “Hoca” is different from a visit to doctor; they heal different things in a person.”