|The mother of the family setting the goat skin out to dry.|
We met two lovely women working as Animateurs for the resort at breakfast on our second day. We asked them about watching a Korban Bayram celebration and they immediately invited us to their family's home for their sacrifice. Now, I'm the kind of girl, who, when graciously invited to a special religious ceremony, makes every effort to go, despite being unable to eat goat. So, we take a dolmuş (privately owned mini buses) and then one of the girl's brothers picks us up in their family's van. We go to the house and when we arrive, the men are already full-on into cutting up a goat. I think they were cutting the fur away from it's testicles at this point. So, here we are, full-on foriegners with limited understanding and conversational skills, watching it all go down, in awe, and trying not to giggle about the goat's private parts. Imagine, if you will, 4 foriegners showing up on your doorstep on Christmas Day saying 'Um hi....we were just wondering about this Christmas thing you do....um, could we watch and document it all on film? Great. Thanks.' Because that is essentially exactly what we did. We were on our best behaviour of course, being perfect guests, and the family was more than happy to share their tradition with us. Turkish people are famous for hospitality and this family was no exception.
|The mother making delicious, stretchy wrap bread.|
After tea, we went outside and gathered pine cones and needles to make a fire. When the coals were hot, they were loaded into a little box where the goat was cooked on a rack. Paper thin, stretchy bread was set out, among roasted vegetables and Fanta (which the family bought especially for us) and we made wraps with the fresh goat meat. (I'm sure you will have guessed that I did not eat any goat, being a former vegetarian and long-standing non-red-meat-eater.) I did manage to sneakily take the goat that was generously offered to me and sneak it over to Dan, who scarfed it down without problem.
|This goat was sacrificed in the most loving, humane way possible...wish I could say the same for animals killed on meat farms.|
After washing up and stuffing our faces with baklava (fresh from the oven!) we headed back to the resort. I cannot even describe the hospitality that was shown to four perfect strangers on that day. We were told that we were now members of a Turkish family, that we have Turkish sisters and brothers and a home to stay at in Side, by people who were kind enough to share their religious celebration with us.