Henna Party in Karaman, Turkey

I flew from Istanbul to Konya in the morning for my friend’s wedding in Karaman. Karaman is a small town. According to my friend, Turkish people who have emigrated overseas like to live in this town. In other words, most of the people living in this town have some relatives in other countries. However, like what I said in my previous blog, many local Turkish people don’t come to this town because there is nothing there.  And, that’s true.

It’s also very hard to get to Karaman.  According to two local Turkish guys that I know, both told me to fly to Konya but after that, they didn’t know how to get to Karaman.  ‘Taxi’ was the most common response. The bride also told me the same thing, ‘taxi’ but that’s not the end of the story – ‘then a bus.’ she added.  Hm… ok.

All these made going to her wedding place, the journey itself, an adventure.

At least, that was what I thought, at that time.

When I arrived at the Konya airport, there was a ‘Hava bus’ right in front of the entrance so I asked them and it happened that they were heading to Karaman. I think they needed to be booked in advance.  I was fortunate that there was one empty seat for me. The driver quoted me a price which was much cheaper than a taxi (35 liras) and it took me directly to the hotel which was reserved by my friend.  Without any hesitation, I took it instead of taking a taxi. The whole journey took around 2 hours which wasn’t too bad.

I checked in at the hotel. It was so apparent that the town was not a place for tourists. The groom effortlessly found me at the hotel reception area.  The receptionists weren’t even used to handling tourists too.  I was glad that the groom helped me to communicate with the receptionists in Turkish. It was my first time to see the groom and I didn’t even know his name!  😂

The bride was having a hairdo and make up so the groom took me to the salon where we finally met up. She had so much make up on her face that I couldn’t recognize her.  She whispered to me, ‘I look like a mannequin with the make up.’ 😂 Sorry, I had to agree too. 😂

She took me to her boyfriend’s, oops, the groom’s (yeah, she made that mistake all the time when we were in Turkey, even after her Turkish wedding 😂 ) parents’ place with her heavy make up on and introduced me to their family. 

Turkish people are indeed very warm and friendly. Since most of the groom’s relatives are now living in Europe, they can speak English as a third language. I wish I could speak my third language as fluently as they could speak English.  What is my third language, by the way? Hm… Deutsch or Espanol? I mix them up all the time. I would utter a few words in Deutsch and Spanish in one sentence.  I even spoke Spanglish all the time when I was travelling in South America. 😀 I will write about those stories later. 😉

My friend who is now living in Europe with her boyfriend, er…, husband told me they drove from The Netherlands to Karaman and would drive back to Europe after their wedding. They went past Austria and other European countries and then via Istanbul then to here. It was a long journey.  But it was also the journey that his relatives travelled on land from Turkey to Europe. They were following the footsteps of their ancestors. That sounded very romantic. 😊

‘So, what’s the plan tonight?’ I asked.

‘Henna party.’ The bride answered.

‘What is that?’ while I had the delicious food prepared by her mother-in-law, I asked her. ‘Do I need to get dressed for the occasion?’

Well, of course, yes.

I had dinner at her parents-in-law’s place until 7:30pm and went back to the hotel to get changed for the party which was held at the same place at 8pm.

I had no idea what it was going to be like. But that’s good. I just followed the flow.

My friend wore a traditional Turkish dress. She greeted the guests and when almost everyone arrived, the dance started.

Similar to hen party, Henna party is for women only so all the men left before our party started except for the little kids. I was introduced to almost all of her in-laws (I felt so honoured). Then her cousins, nieces, aunts etc. in-law started to dance the traditional Turkish spoon dance and some other traditional Turkish dance. Her in-laws took us down to the street and sang and danced around the house of her parents-in-law like a parade.

After that, my friend and her husband (I don’t remember when and how he came back or maybe he had never left? :P) had a ceremony back in the house in which my friend needed to wear a red veil.  Then the rest of us walked around the couple with candles in our hands and sang. Her in-laws then put and drew something on the couple’s palm (brown powder with water). That powder would stay on their palms for one or two days. Her husband then unveiled her.

After that, the dance continued. All of a sudden, my friend was asked to sit down and cry. That was totally unexpected.  The in-laws said it was the Turkish tradition.  Turkish women should cry to show that they missed their home. But my friend couldn’t. I gave her some tissues so that she could pretend better. 😜 She said she was so happy that she couldn’t cry at all.   😄 She’s not Turkish so I guess that’s why she couldn’t follow all these traditions strictly.

The happy couple

Anyway, the party ended at around 11pm or 12 midnight. I was so tired but excited at the same time.  😊

I definitely liked Karaman more than Istanbul. People were friendlier and the weather was nicer too. Much cooler than in Istanbul. I think the weather was good for growing grapes. I vaguely remember that I saw some grapes growing on the roof of her parents’-in-law’s building.

Oh, I miss the cool weather. 😊  


9 August 2018

One thought on “Henna Party in Karaman, Turkey

  1. Pingback: The Wedding Day!

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