A henna night in Batman in the context of politics, popular culture, and dance

Ünlü Ö. B.

Third Symposium of the Internation Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe Terminology and Theoretical Approaches and Crossing National Boundaries/Intercultural Communication, Skopje, Macedonia, 17 - 23 April 2012, pp.223-225

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Skopje
  • Country: Macedonia
  • Page Numbers: pp.223-225


Batman, located in southeastern Turkey, became a city in 1990by letting in immigrants upon the establishment of Turkey's first oil refinery. Due its heterogeneity and demographic circulation, Batman has never had a cultural texture of its own. Which dynamics affect the cultural identity of this region's communities? How is the relation between cultural identity and music in this heterogeneity revealed in a wedding/marriage ritual context? This kind of question led to city-oriented fieldwork based on participant observation in Batman May 2010. In the henna night, ethnic and political identities bacame prominent. Participants performs regional halay as well as Damat Halayı that spread from Izmir into Turkey (as a popular dance/melody). However, this dance originates from Tikves, Macedonia. The study examines the journey of the dance/melody originally called Hayde Veliçe from Tikves to Batman. Also, it discusses how such a dance finds its place in popular local repertoire in an event full of political discourses.