And now for part two. Here are a few quick observations about part two of my daughter’s wedding – in the city of Fethiye, Turkey – hometown of her now husband. (See here for my thoughts about part one.)
There’s much that’s different about Turkey…history, religion, politics…but when it comes to community, and caring about your family and your neighbors, there’s really not much difference at all.
Just like here at home, the bonds among neighbors are powerful. In preparation for the Turkish part of the wedding, the community in Fethiye was equally connected as that we experienced here in the U.S. For instance, the barber tracked down a sound system and friends provided the traditional costumes and the raki (the Turkish national drink – much like Ouzo) for henna night, the night preceding the wedding. In-laws made their party venue available for henna night. That same barber also set up large fans to cool the 700 people who came to the family’s neighborhood lunch. (That latter is a very practical tradition – the family hosts an open lunch from 11-3 on the day of the wedding – a kind of open-house for neighbors, and sustenance for anybody traveling from the countryside). Neighbors also provided flowers for the wedding.
The wedding itself was also open to anybody who wanted to come – and hundreds did – for music, light refreshments, cake, dancing, and conversation.
Social capital … the tie that binds.