Celebrating kurban bayram with Berkay..


Tuesday 15th October marked the first day of the Muslim festival Eid-al-adha (kurban bayram in Turkish). If you aren’t aware of what kurban bayram is, you can check back at my previous post.. ”what is kurban bayram?” which explains all you need to know.

Most people celebrate bayram with their families, but Berkay is not close to his and doesn’t really keep in touch with them. He also has to work all over the holidays as it is the hotel’s busiest time. Last year we celebrated together with a BBQ and a walk along the seafront, but this year he was alone. Luckily, he has a great friend who works with him at the hotel, someone who he has grown really close to and who is like a father to him (his name is Ergun, he’ll probably be mentioned a lot!). They invited him to their village house for the day to celebrate so he didn’t have to be alone.

First he went off to Ergun’s brother’s house for breakfast which was the typical Turkish type, eggs, bread, honey, cucumber, tomato, cheese, olives and of course a glass or two of cay!
They then went around to a few other family members houses. When they got to Ergun’s wife’s family house, they sacrificed their first sheep. This is something that is supposed to be done by professional butchers, in order to minimize stress to the animal and get it done as fast and humanely as possible. I suspect that an awful lot of people do not actually follow these rules, and carry out the sacrifice themselves, which is what Berkay’s friend and all his family do. Obviously though, the rules are there for a reason, and should be stuck to.

After skinning and cleaning up the first animal, they visited Ergun’s brothers house, and performed the sacrifice over again with another animal, this time a goat.
After that, they ate lunch, he didn’t tell me what was on the menu, but I presume it was extremely fresh meat..
After lunch, they returned back to their village house where they sacrificed their own goat.
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I asked Berkay to take these photos for me to share on here and give everyone more of an insight into the whole experience, but I do understand they may offend or disturb some readers, hence the warning at the start of the post.

I have seen discussions saying the act of killing so many animals for a religious festival is barbaric and wrong, although the same people complaining are not vegetarians themselves, and enjoy eating meat. The reason we find it so cruel, is that we are too used to having easy access to meat in supermarkets and shops, meat from animals that are already killed, then cut up and neatly packaged. We pick up the meat off the shelves and take it home to cook without a second thought as to where it has really come from, we don’t think about the poor animal it once formed. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Personally, as long as the sacrifice is done correctly and the whole process is over quickly with limited suffering to the animal, I see nothing wrong with it. Sure, it’s not pleasant and I would never be able to do it myself, but It’s the circle of life, and an important part of celebrating kurban bayram in Turkish culture.

I hope everyone who celebrates Eid had a wonderful few days, now all the remaining sheep & goats can breathe a sigh of relief, until the next bayram..or wedding.. or funeral.. or birth! The Turks sure do like to celebrate special occasions by killing a sheep or two.

Dogsitting mum’s shih tzu..

I’m currently sitting at mums house alone dog-sitting all night, and although it’s no substitute for my beautiful Boncuk, I love her dog and he’s cute, so thought I’d do a little post about him.What is your pet?
He’s my mum’s dog, but he’s a dog. A pedigree shih tzu.
What is their name?
Brad. It’s my mum’s favourite boys name, in fact, if i were a boy she was going to call me Bradley.brad
How old are they?
Two & a half. His birthday is 28th April 2010.
Where did you get them?
She got him from a breeder she found on the internet. They had a litter of puppies and mum went to see them and chose this one.  He was so tiny and looked totally different than he does now! 1378643_10152262753568776_173106278_n 1382310_10152262754088776_626599693_n
Do they know any tricks?
In a word, no. He sits when he wants to, and gives you his paw sometimes, but he’s a stubborn little thing and won’t do anything unless he wants it. If you say ‘come here’ he usually runs off in the other direction, little monkey!
Do they snuggle, give kisses, follow you around?
He likes to follow mum around, he gets quite upset when she closes the baby gate to lock him downstairs! He also really loves to sit, lay down or sleep on your feet, I think it must be a comfort thing, if there’s a foot or a pair of slippers on the floor, you can bet your life he’ll lay on them. He likes to chew his ball on your feet as well, and lick them. Gross! Mum recently moved into a new house and got a lovely new sofa, he was banned from getting on it… that lasted a few weeks and now every time you sit down he sits staring and crying at you til you pick him up and let him snuggle on your legs. He’s a spoilt little brat really!
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What are some of the funny things they do to make you laugh?
Oh too many to mention! Every time we have something to eat he sits staring as us til we give him some, naughty! He loves to play with his favourite ball, but its so small it fits under the sofa. Usually when it’s Eastenders time, he gets his ball out, kicks it under the sofa and then everyone has to get off and rearrange furniture so he can be reunited with it. It’s funny but irritating! Another funny thing he’s doing now is because I’m here and have started to go on walks with him and mum, he gets jealous that someone else is on ‘their’ walk. Every time we go out together he turns around and constantly tries to bite my shoes. Jealous pants!
He’s pretty unique, he’s got one wonky eye and constantly has his tongue hanging out/teeth on show. Stinky little fluff ball. (: