Trakya Karşılaması (Greeting Dances)

The dances of Trakya (Thrace), the European part of Türkiye are sometimes called “karşılama” dances. One of the special characteristics of this region is the use of two drums (davul) and two pipes (zurna). Karşılama is a word meaning “greeting or welcoming” in Turkish. The dance starts with a slow rhythm but it gradually become faster and faster. The steps and movements of the male dancers is very interesting, and the music is catchy. The dances are much stylised, and the male and female dancers make their own movements independently of each other. Spinning, kneeling and clapping are the most common movements of the dances. The traditional handkerchiefs used by dancers are handmade and embroidered. The dancers are often holding hands or shoulder to shoulder, facing the other gender.