• Short Summary

    THE RITUAL DANCING AND MUSIC OF THE WHIRLING DERVISHES OF TURKEY - BANNED BY THE GOVERNMENT SINCE 1925 - IS PERMITTED EACH YEAR BETWEEN 3 AND 17 DECEMBER DURING CELEBRATIONS MARKING THE DEATH IN 1273 OF THE SECT'S FOUNDER, MEVLANA JALAL AL-DIN RUMI, REGARDED BY MANY AS THE GREATEST MYSTICAL POET OF ISLAM.

  • Description

    THE RITUAL DANCING AND MUSIC OF THE WHIRLING DERVISHES OF TURKEY - BANNED BY THE GOVERNMENT SINCE 1925 - IS PERMITTED EACH YEAR BETWEEN 3 AND 17 DECEMBER DURING CELEBRATIONS MARKING THE DEATH IN 1273 OF THE SECT'S FOUNDER, MEVLANA JALAL AL-DIN RUMI, REGARDED BY MANY AS THE GREATEST MYSTICAL POET OF ISLAM. THE DANCES - SYMBOLISING THE ROTATION OF THE UNIVERSE - ARE PERFORMED IN A SPORTS HALL IN KONYA, SOME 150 MILES (241 KMS.) SOUTH OF ANKARA.

    THE DERVISHES MAY NOW PERFORM THEIR DANCES UNDER GOVERNMENT LICENCE AS A KIND OF FOLKLORE EXHIBITION. KEMAL ATATURK, CREATOR OR MODERN TURKEY, BANNED ALL THE DERVISH ORDERS IN 1925 ALONG WITH "SHEIKHS AND FORTUNE-TELLERS, MAGICIANS, WITCH DOCTORS, WRITERS OF AMULETS FOR THE RECOVERY OF LOST PROPERTY OR THE FULFILLMENT OF WISHES, AS WELL AS THE SERVICES, DUES AND COSTUMES PERTAINING TO THESE TITLES AND QUALITIES".

    THE PRINCIPAL DERVISH MONASTERY IN KONYA, ADJOINING RUMI'S TOMB, HAS BEEN CONVERTED INTO A MUSEUM. HOWEVER, THOUSANDS OF FOLLOWERS OF THE MYSTIC POET STILL EXIST IN SEVERAL MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRIES, INCLUDING EGYPT, IRAQ AND PERSIA, AS WELL AS IN TURKEY. HIS PHILOSOPHY OF TOLERANCE AND HUMILITY HAS ALSO APPEALS TO CHRISTIANS, JEWS AND MEMBERS OF OTHER RELIGIONS.

    DURING THEIR CEREMONIES, THE DERVISHES WEAR TALL CONICAL CAMEL-WOOL CAPS REPRESENTING THEIR TOMBSTONES. THEIR COATS REPRESENT THEIR TOMBS, THE SWIRLING WHITE SKIRTS THEIR SHROUDS. EARLY IN THE RITE, THE DERVISHES SHED THEIR COATS - STRIPPING OFF THE BURDENS OF WORLDLY EXISTENCE AND SLIPPING FROM THEIR TOMBS TO PARADISE. WITH SUPERB CO-ORDINATION, HEADS SLIGHTLY INCLINED TO ONE SIDE, THEY ROTATE AFTER THE SHEIKH - THE LEADER - HAS FORMALLY SALUTED THE YOUNGEST DERVISH.

    WHILE WHIRLING, THE DERVISH'S RIGHT HAND POINTS UPWARD IN PRAYER, THE LEFT HAND DOWNWARD TO EARTH ACCORDING TO THE MEVLANA RUMI'S TEACHING: "WE RECEIVE FROM GOD AND DISTRIBUTE TO THE PEOPLE, WE OWN NOTHING, AND WE ARE NOTHING BUT A VISIBLE MEDIUM". TODAY, THE MYSTIC CIRCLING DANCE IS STRICTLY LIMITED IN ITS DURATION, UNLIKE THE ECSTATIC ALL-NIGHT DANCING PERIODS OF TH PAST AS THE DERVISHES SOUGHT UNION WITH THE UNIVERSAL GOD.

    SYNOPSIS: THE MAIN MONASTERY OF THE WHIRLING DERVISHES IN KONYA, TURKEY, LOST ITS RELIGIOUS IMPORTANCE AND BECAME A MUSEUM WHEN KEMAL ATATURK, FOUNDER OF MODERN TURKEY, BANNED THE SECT IN 1925. HOWEVER, THE MUSEUM CONTAINS MANY REMINDERS OF THE ANCIENT SECT, FOUNDED NEARLY SEVEN-HUNDRED YEARS AGO BY MEVLANA JALAL AL-DIN RUMI, WHO IS REGARDED BY MANY AS THE GREATEST ISLAMIC MYSTIC POET OF ALL TIME.

    BRING UP NATURAL SOUND AND FADE UNDER ON CUE.

    ALTHOUGH THE DERVISH SECT IS STILL BANNED, THE DERVISH DANCES ARE PERMITTED TO BE HELD IN A SPORTS HALL IN KONYA, SOME 150 MILES SOUTH OF ANKARA, EACH YEAR DURING THE 3RD. AND 17TH. OF DECEMBER DURING THE CELEBRATIONS MARKING THE MEVLANA RUMI'S DEATH. AFTER THE "SHEIKH" - THE LEADER - HAS FORMALLY SALUTED THE YOUNGEST DERVISH, THE DANCE STARTS. EARLY IN THE RITE, THE DERVISHES SHED THEIR COATS - REPRESENTING THEIR TOMBS. DURING THE DANCE, THE DERVISHES WEAR TALL CONICAL CAMEL-WOOL CAPS THAT REPRESENT THEIR TOMBSTONES.

    BRING UP NATURAL SOUND AND FADE UNDER ON CUE.

    THE WHITE SKIRTS OF THE DERVISHES REPRESENT THEIR SHROUDS. WHILE WHIRLING, THE DERVISH'S RIGHT HAND POINTS UPWARD IN PRAYER, THE LEFT HAND DOWNWARD TO EARTH ACCORDING TO THE MEVLANA RUMI'S TEACHING: "WE RECEIVE FROM GOD AND DISTRIBUTE TO THE PEOPLE, WE OWN NOTHING, AND WE ARE NOTHING BUT A VISIBLE MEDIUM".

    BRING UP NATURAL SOUND AND FADE UNDER ON CUE.

    THE DERVISHES MAY NOW PERFORM THEIR DANCES ONLY UNDER GOVERNMENT LICENCE AS A KING OF FOLKLORE EXHIBITION. KEMAL ATATURK IN 1925 BANNED ALL THE DERVISH ORDERS ALONG WITH "SHEIKHS AND FORTUNE-TELLER, MAGICIANS, WITCH DOCTORS, WRITERS OF AMULETS FOR THE RECOVERY OF LOST PROPERTY OR THE FULFILLMENT OF WISHES, AS WELL AS SERVICES, DUES AND COSTUMES PERTAINING TO THESE TITLES AND QUALITIES".

    BRING UP NATURAL SOUND AND FADE UNDER ON CUE.

    THOUSANDS OF FOLLOWERS OF THE MYSTIC POET STILL EXIST IN SEVERAL MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRIES, INCLUDING EGYPT, IRAQ, AND PERSIA, AS WELL AS IN TURKEY. THE MEVLANA RUMI'S PHILOSOPHY OF TOLERANCE AND HUMILITY HAS ALSO APPEALED TO CHRISTIANS, JEWS AND MEMBERS OF OTHER RELIGIONS.

    BRING UP NATURAL SOUND AND FADE UNDER ON CUE.

    THE WHIRLING OF THE DERVISHES SYMBOLISES THE ROTATION OF THE UNIVERSE. TODAY, THE MYSTIC CIRCLING DANCE IS STRICTLY LIMITED IN ITS DURATION, UNLIKE THE ECSTATIC ALL-NIGHT DANCING PERIODS OF THE PAST AS THE DERVISHES SOUGHT UNION WITH THE UNIVERSAL GOD. WITH SUPERB CO-ORDINATION, HEADS SLIGHTLY INCLINED TO ONE SIDE, THE DERVISHES ROTATE TO THE SOUND OF THE DRUMS AND FLUTES, MOVING THE SPECTATORS TO TEARS.

    BRING UP NATURAL SOUND UNTIL THE END.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVANE1VW1FZUZ8HDZEWMGVDKF6L
    Media URN:
    VLVANE1VW1FZUZ8HDZEWMGVDKF6L
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    12/12/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:58:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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