Drummers announce suhoor in Turkey
Agencies | Ankara
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Ever since the days of the Ottoman Empire, those fasting during Ramadan have woken up to the sound of a drum beating early in the morning for suhoor. Despite the passage of time (and notwithstanding the invention of alarm clocks), more than 2,000 drummers still roam the streets of Turkey, uniting the local community during the holy month.
Drummers dress in traditional Ottoman costume, including a fez and vest that are both adorned with traditional motifs. As they go around with their davul (Turkish double-headed drum), the Ramadan drummers rely on the generosity of residents to give them tips (bahşiş) or even invite them in to share their suhoor meal.
This bahşiş is usually collected twice in the holy month, with many givers believing they will receive good luck in return for their kindness. Recently, Turkish officials have introduced a membership card for drummers in order to instil a sense of pride in those who play, and to encourage a younger generation to keep this age-old tradition alive in the fast-changing country.