Sunday, November 21, 2010

sand, sun and goat sacrificing in Side

Dan, Colleen, Eilidh and I wanted to have the ultimate relaxation for our November week long holiday in honor of Bayram.  We had all done the backpacking through capital cities in various countries sort of thing, and this time we wanted to explore another kind of holiday: an all-inclusive resort.  This was my first time at an all inclusive resort, which are popular along Turkey's Mediterranean coast.  Turkey is becoming a popular tourist destination for many Europeans because the Mediterranean coast looks exactly like Greece (and I dare say has more Green ruins than Athens) but is half the price, because of the Turkish Lira currency (I do love a good currency conversion!).  We booked through Thomas Cook and snagged a special offer available only for residents of the UK.  Ask me how much it cost, really.  I can tell you I spent more on two dresses from H&M than I did on this holiday.

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, 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.



  1. Kirbie, you are living a life straight out of a novel! Your spirit is amazing!
    Aunt Leola

  2. Kirbie...Glad you had a good vacation! Pictures are lovely. You'll certainly not forget your stay in Turkey, getting to experience all these new adventures. Love MOM