August 9, 2010

Turkish Coffee and Marriage Ritual

I know the title sounds weird. :-) Traditionally, coffee is an inseparable component of marriage process in Turkish culture.

Even today, if a man wants to marry a woman, then he and his family should ask the woman's family to give their daughter as bride. This procedure is known as "kiz isteme" in Turkish.

During kiz isteme, the potential bride should serve Turkish coffee on a silver tray to potential groom and his family. Serving coffee symbolizes woman's intention about the marriage. If she prepares coffee with salt, it means she does not want to marry him! :-)

Historically, girls at marriage ages could not tell their intentions directly because of cultural taboos. So, coffee was an indirect communication way to express whe she thinks actually about marriage. Of course, today women in Turkey are totally free to express what they think. But, the traditional ritual is still widely applied by people.

Coffee is still an important element of many rituals in Turkey and neighbor countries.

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