Art, Creativity, Photography, Travel, Writing

travel theme: tradition

Ailsa’s travel theme this week was “tradition”.

Turks on the Bodrum peninsula celebrate the beginning of the new year with camel wrestling in Yalikavak, Turgutreis and Yahshi. The camels are brought in by the truckload from far and wide. A female camel on heat is paraded around the ring to get the male beasts’ testorone up and running. 2 camels wrestle each other at a time and the winner is the camel which manages to get its opponent to kneel on the ground. Beasts that have successfully cowed a number of opponents in past contests are hugely valuable. A day out to watch the camel wrestling is a day out for all the family and they come in their droves, equipped with picnic tables and chairs, food and drink (with particular emphasis on the national aniseed-flavoured drink raki). Souvenir headscarves in honour of some of the contestants are on sale, as is spicy camel sausage. Music in the form of cacaphonous drum-beating and pipe-blowing is provided by wandering groups of musicians. It’s also the occasion for a bit of betting on the side. All in all it’s a great day out.

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the camels are hobbled in an area close to the ring while they wait their turn to wrestle

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I just needed to scratch that itch

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the blankets are very decorative

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Comments on: "travel theme: tradition" (9)

  1. I’d heard about camel wrestling before, but didn’t realise it was part of a New Year’s tradition. You’ve got some excellent shots, but do you know if there are many injuries? I notice the camels are wearing nose guards – is that to prevent them from biting each other? I’m fascinated by the fabrics they are wearing. Really beautiful.

  2. So colourful! The camel’s trappings are wonderful – look like the mirror work of Rajasthan. Do you know anything about it?

    • it does look like Rajasthani work doesn’t it but it’s typically Turkish. I was more interested by their trappings than the wrestling

      • Not knowing about all the technical niceties, I guess that’s understandable – and the trappings are so exotic and beautiful.

      • Not knowing about all the technical niceties, I guess that’s understandable – and the trappings are so exotic and beautiful.

        There’s a long tradition of kilim making, on the Bodrum peninsular, which always seems to go hand in hand with wonderful weaving of all types, so I wonder if it is perhaps that the Rajasthani work is derivative of the Turkish work?

  3. I should think it’s highly likely that there has been a cultural crossover at some point as there are similarities in some of the words in Indian and Turkik languages too

  4. Wonderful – camel wrestling – who knew? 🙂

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