Muhammet picked us around 6:00pm and drove us to his family’s apartment, just outside of the University gates. We were greeted there by his wife Hulya and sons Mirsa and Bera. Hulya is a world class cook who, for many years, has written a blog about Turkish cooking. When she was in the US it was entirely in English but since returning to Turkey she has written it in both Turkish and English….quite an accomplishment. You can check it out here….
As we expected, we were greeted with a beautiful table full of wonderful surprises….
We enjoyed Feta Cheese rolls, Eggplant salad, Stuffed Grape leaves, freshly made Humus, a wonderful noodle soup and a Braised beef and pepper dish served over rice……see why I am NOT getting on a bathroom scale!!!
As she started to make Turkish coffee, we both ran into the kitchen and asked if we could watch. She graciously agreed so we got to see the entire process…
Then gently stir the mixture over medium heat….
…..and enjoy a delicious, beautiful cup of coffee…..
We enjoyed a wonderful evening of conversation and then Muhammet told us that he had been invited to the graduation party for the Biology students and that we were to come as well!! SO, at 9:00pm we headed out to party!!!
In case I haven’t said this previously, Muhammet is an Assistant Professor in Biology!!
We drove up to a darkened clothing store and Muhammet told us that the party was in a cafe that was located on the third floor of this building. However, there was no outside entrance so we had to walk thru the closed store to get there. This particular store has some wonderful dresses so I am planning another trip to visit when I can actually buy something!!
As soon as we arrived, Muhammet was mobbed by students who came over to shake his hand and welcome him. We were swallowed up in the greetings as well and shook hands with many, many smiling students.
They set up a special place at one of the tables for us and were surrounded by the paparazzi of the Biology department…..soooo many photos being taken….
I was once again impressed by the variety of clothing worn. As you can see in the picture above, the more devout Muslim women wore much more modest attire but thoroughly enjoyed joining into all of the festivities.
There was, of course, a dance floor and the young people were having a marvelous time!! The music was either recorded music or music played by these two……
The dances can be fairly frenetic with lots of arms and hand gestures. The dancing groups are very fluid, with small groups of men or women breaking off into certain steps. Often, there will be a circle of people with one or two persons dancing in the middle. These featured dancers are often guys who are obviously trying to out-do one another!!
When there are couples dancing together, the guy will often go down on one knee and clap while his partner dances for him.
It was obvious that many of the girls knew how to Belly Dance as many of their moves were reminiscent of that genre.
Here are two more short videos. This first one was when one of the professors went out to dance with the younger guys. It really shows how the dance changes as it goes on……
….and yes, there is a professional videographer there as well.
This one is three guys who really knew how to do this one line dance. I was interested that the woman brings napkins to the two on the end. I saw this many times during the dance and assume that each person in a line dance is supposed to either be holding a hand or something so that they are not empty handed…..
They did dance one “slow” dance and convinced Michael and I to join them, although we were slightly under-dressed!!!!
Finally a huge cake was brought out onto the dance floor and they proceeded to dance around it and then Muhammet was invited to cut it…..