Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beliefs/Ideas/Common Practices/Unsaid Rules of Samsun

I decided to put together a list of some beliefs/ideas/common practices/unsaid rules of Turkey, especially Samsun. I have been putting together this list for a while and I decided that it was long enough to post. Enjoy!

  • You can get sick from not wearing your slippers
  • Not wearing your slippers will make you infertile
  • You can get sick from the wind outside
  • You can get sick from going out with your hair slightly wet, even in the summer
  • You can get sick from sitting on the ground 
  • You can get sick by sitting against a bare wall without leaning on a pillow
  • You can get sick by not using an umbrella, even though you have on a raincoat with a hood
  • If you sit in somebody’s seat after they get up and it is still warm from them, their microbes might be transferred to you which in turn may make you sick
-From this you can see that many things that I do can make me sick, so it is a little difficult to explain that I actually get sick from things called germs that are passed through people or a virus going around

  • Ketchup and mayo on every food makes it 100 times better, or by piling yogurt on it 
  • Writing on your desk at school with pencil is completely normal because you can just erase it after
  • People that are apaçi (apache) think they are really cool but nobody else likes them
  • It is completely normal to "like" all pictures on FaceBook and friend the American even though you have only met once and didn't even catch their name
  • Going to dersane (school outside of regular school) is not only normal but necessary if you want to pass the college entrance exams because school doesn't prepare you enough
  • School is the youth’s social life, especially for girls because they can never go out in the evenings
  • Significant others should be kept secret, maybe you can tell your mom but you would NEVER under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE tell your father
  • Driving like a maniac is accepted everywhere, and any sane person would never drive here
  • Parking illegally isn't that much of a big deal, and stuffing 8 people into a car that regularly holds 5 is always accepted
  • Not having 10 min breaks between each class is unheard of... The teachers need their smoking break
  • You don't go into the boys bathroom during the breaks because it is where all the boys smoke
  • Eating a cup of yogurt a day will completely contradict smoking so you will be fine
  • You take your shoes off before you walk in the house. Basically you slide your feet out of the shoes without stepping on the ground and then take a big step into the house, you can’t even wear them in the entryway in smaller cities like Samsun. In larger cities such as Ankara, you can step into the entryway of the house and then take your shoes off, but never in Samsun
  • Young Turkish females do not go out of the house without spending hours on their hair and makeup beforehand, even if it just going to a good friend’s house. You always have to look your best!
  • Turkish women are masters of conserving space! Beds and couches have built-in compartments to hold clothes, books, extra blankets, or anything else you need to store
  • Once women marry and have kids, especially some of the older generations, it is completely normal for them to be a little overwight
  • Neighbors and family members are always over each others houses, especially for çay in the evenings and often come over without any notice
Note: This list was put together with the help of Lena Bichell, so we need to give her credit too :)

Also, in Turkey “çay” is a big part of the culture. Çay (pronounced chai) is tea, but it is black tea that is drunken everywhere, all the time. I have to say that since moving to my new host family I have become addicted. I have it every morning for breakfast, almost every evening while watching TV and often one more time during the day. At cafes you drink çay while playing cards or board games, or while just sitting and chatting with your friends, when you go to anybody’s house to visit çay is a necessity, and everyone needs çay to start their day. Now, in the evenings I need my çay otherwise I fall asleep. Çay is made in a çaydanlık, or a tea maker, which has two parts; the top holds the strong tea while the bottom holds just boiling water. This way you can make it as strong as you want and everyone can drink it the way they want. I also want to reiterate the point of drinking it steaming hot. Turkish people are used to drinking it steeping hot, but for me, I have to let it sit for at least 5 minutes and normally longer for it to cool to a temperature that won’t burn my mouth. 


1 comment:

  1. That's right, NEVER tell your father about relationships with significant others. :)


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