Monday, August 3, 2009

Have you ever heard turkish hamam. ıf you have not check this out?

“Hamam” is the Turkish word for the traditional bathhouse. Men and women have separate sections. Here’s what happens after you walk through the door:

* You will be given the bathing essentials when you begin to undress: a large towel (peştamal), special wooden block shoes and a bowl.

* It is very steamy in the bathing room. You sit in front of a traditional water tap with hot and cold taps and fill your bowl and pour the water over yourself. Turks believe that bath water should be running.

* You wash in the steam room and can have a pummel and a vigorous massage by a strong gripped masseuse while lying on a slab of marble that is heated underneath. Everything is made out of marble and is hot!

* The entire bath area’s floor is heated, but one raised slab of marble -- the göbek taşı -- is the hottest. This is where you lie if you really want to sweat.

* People may be watching you. The hamam is not just a bathhouse; some people still think of it as a social center. Certainly during the Ottoman Empire it was a place for gossip, for women to choose a future daughter-in-law and for men to clench business deals.

I forgot to mention that when you put on your traditional metal or wooden high-heeled slippers and begin to try to walk, they’ll make a clack-clack sound as you walk -- a platform shoe of the Ottoman Empire! When I teeter along trying to keep my balance while holding my towel wrapped around me tightly, Naomi Campbell always comes to mind when she fell on the catwalk wearing platforms. Though I don’t think I would do it as elegantly as she did!

* Be sure not to forget to bring your own soap.

The towel you use is important -- and speaking of towels, one year my sister-in-law gave me a genuine Turkish towel set for two for Christmas. When she bought them it didn’t even cross her mind that they were from Turkey. When I opened the package and saw the labels on the towels, we had a chuckle. It had a label attached and written on it: “Imported exclusively by …, these traditional looped terry towels come from the Denizli region of Turkey, legendary worldwide for its towels of extraordinary thickness and absorbency. These genuine, 100 percent cotton Turkish towels have an 800-gram weight, making them among the heaviest and densest towels available. Their 1/4-inch-thick pile makes them exceptionally soft while an abundance of tightly wound loops offers superior warmth and absorbency. Their softness is greatly enhanced with subsequent washings.”

I just love those towels and they have come back to Turkey with me.

Anyway, when you are in the hamam, you may hear voices. In Ottoman times women may have murmured things like:

* “May God protect you from the evil eye.”

* Or, of more plump women congregated around the marble basin, “Maşallah! A good man’s wife is revealed in the bath!”

* And of pretty women they said, “May he who embraces you be spared.”

* Children accompanied their mothers to the bath, but as the boys got older, other women would remark, “Dear boy, tell your mother to bring your father next time!”

It was very common for mothers of boys to choose brides for their sons at the baths, where women bathed and groomed themselves in groups. It was a time of merriment and fun.

One Turkish proverb says it all: “Hamama giren terler.” He who goes into a hamam will sweat -- if you don’t like the heat, get out! If it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, go for the works (e.g., the rub with rough gloves, the soaping and the face and foot massages).

Have you ever heard turkish hamam. ıf you have not check this out?
Yes, I have since I am Turkish.
Reply:Why don't you place this info in the storeonwheels group in Yahoo! Groups?


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