Hull Branch Attended Cultural Activities at Albemarle Music Centre in Hull

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Hull Anatolian Society and Education Dialogue Charity participated in cultural activities organised by YOF and Children Fund at The Albemarle Music Centre in Hull. The event featured around ten different groups representing various cultures and nations, each showcasing their unique cultural dances and music.

Participating nations included Turkish, Polish, Zambian, English, and Bosnian.

Our group performed a traditional Turkish dance known as “Cayda Cira.” This dance is easily recognizable by the dancers who gracefully hold small plates adorned with lit candles. The Cayda Cira dance encompasses various elements, including depictions of a groom preparing for his impending wedding and the henna night held in honour of the bride before the wedding.

The origin of the Cayda Cira dance is shrouded in two intriguing theories. The first theory recounts a romantic tale of a boy and a girl from tribes residing along the Elazig streams who fell in love. They communicated with each other by lighting candles, with the boy swimming across the stream to reach the candle lit by the girl. Tragically, one fateful night, strong currents swept the boy away. Overwhelmed by despair and heartbreak, the girl threw herself into the stream in search of her lost love. It is said that the Cayda Cira songs and music were composed in the wake of this tragic event.

The second theory also revolves around a boy, a girl, and a wedding. In the 18th century, the leader (referred to as the “aga”) of one village along the Elazig streams betrothed his daughter to the son of another aga. A grand wedding was planned, with festivities lasting for 40 days and 40 nights. However, at the culmination of the wedding, during the henna night celebration, an unexpected eclipse shrouded the full moon, plunging the surroundings into darkness. This was viewed as an ill omen for the newlyweds. In response, the groom’s mother gathered all available candles onto plates, lit them, and commenced dancing while holding these illuminated plates. Her joyful display encouraged others to join in the dance. On the opposite side of the stream, musicians also joined the celebration, giving rise to the birth of Cayda Cira music and dances.