Sıra Nights

Sıra nights are weekly gatherings of peer groups, usually during the winter months, at another group member’s home. Since these meetings are held in a certain order, they have been named sıra (sequence, queue, order) nights. In these meetings, which are a kind of assembly, young people learn about tradition, social life rules, respect, tolerance, hospitality and solidarity, as those who participate in the nights must obey the rules. Adherence to the beginning time is obligatory, and those who do not adhere are punished. Guests or senior visitors are seated higher as a sign of respect, while the host sits close to the door. Talking and chatting are not welcomed during the music performance. The group has one elected president. The president takes over the administration of the night, and imposes penalties on those who break the rules.

In these meetings, folk songs are sung and local dishes are served. The most preferred dish of sıra nights is çiğköfte. With these charasteristics, sıra night is not completely a musical event in essence. However, music is an important part of the sıra night.

Sıra night is actually like a conservatory. There is a master-apprentice relationship. Young people learn from their masters to play an instrument, maqams and manners. Ears, hands and tongues are trained. On these nights, odes and folk songs are sung. Bağlama, pipe, oud, tambour, qanun and violin are the main instruments.

In many of the historical Şanlıurfa houses, which serve as guesthouses today, touristic sıra nights are organized in the evenings. You can attend these nights and listen to music performed while eating local dishes.

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