Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Language Of Gönen Women

If I am asked what's the souvenir(s) from your corner, I think I would leave that question with no exact reply!

Because Turkey is a non-stop experience filled with exciting and uniqueness in its every corner. Along every street, down every lane, you would surely encounter Turkey's living and breathing cultural experience like no other in any land, or indeed in the world.

With the arrival of cooler temperatures, as it's known autumn
is the perfect time to discover Turkey's great outdoors. Where to go, where.... I knew where I head to.

So I was in for a "screamingly" good time in a town called Gönen, located in the southern part of Marmara Region; let me say it's a district of Balikesir province. This town is famous for hot springs, leather processing and rice production. During my short trip I paid to visit my aunt, I was especially in love with its fantastic green side of the town and also all natural beauties, hearty smiles, sincere hospitality and undying optimisim:

Oh one fact that I understood very good: how much I enjoyed the village life! Besides the upcoming stories from my trip, that I think each chapter would be an interesting valued as a souvenir:) so I thought I shall talk about a bit "real" souvenir of this very lovely town:


This village of about 20,000 people, famous also for handmade needlelaces decked with gorgeous scarfs in flamboyant colours.
Here are the most beautiful examples of "oya" in the headscarves that is decorated with layers of oya:

The history of this decorative edging called as Turkish lace is to date back as far as the 8th century B.C. to the Phyrgians of Anatolia. Some sources say that needlework spread from 12th century Anatolia to Greece and from there via Italy to Europe.

Traditions in this region are quite interesting!

Young women, new brides and maidens traditionally convey their loves -either hopeful or hopeless-, their expectations, their good intentions, their happiness or unhappiness, their sensations, and their incompatibility with their husbands to those around of them through the "oya" they wear. In the Marmara region inc Gönen village and Aegean regions, floral oya is phenomenon in and itself. Every flower symbolizes a different meaning. For example,...

*brides choose roses, carnations, jasmine, violets, daffodils, hyacinths, chrysanthemums and fuchsia in their oya.

*girls engaged to marry the man they like to wear oya of pink hyacinths and almond blossoms.

*if a woman bound to red pepper oya, it is a sign that her relationship with her husband was as spicy as red hot pepper.

For more Corner View "souvenir" as this week theme can be found at Jane's Spain Daily. You would also enjoy glimpses of life in this great Mediterranean country like me!


  1. Wonderful post Nihal, its nice to see the greens of Turkey...

  2. I love the information. the flowers! so nice and I really like your photos. Great Cornerview!

  3. Perfect sharing,we see yours eyes our countrıes parts,best wishes.

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog. I added Şerefe to the post! Yeah!

  5. so, your story is written on your scarf ;) do men have an equivalent?

  6. What a fantastic souvenir you have given us. Thank you for sharing such a fantastic destination.

  7. @ La ninja: Yes that is. It's a story about on women's scarves and the tradition lies on the back. However, there's no any story about men having an equivalent like women's had. Thanks for yr nice note, looking fwd to seeing you again here:)

    @ LChocolate: You're always welcome. Stay tuned for upcoming cool stories from the same region:)

  8. Very nice blog!!
    Greetings from two Greeks having their roots somewhere bettwenn eskihisar and gülübachce :))

  9. Very nice, I guess the village life must be good there.

  10. @ Benikos: Hearty thanks for compliments! What a surprise; I see that you're having roots from the west Anatolia Priene (Güllübahçe) and Stratonikeia (Eskihisar). From my mother's side I've roots from Balkans such as Greece (Thessaloniki) and a few more countries, too. Pleased to see that understanding another peoples' culture brings people closer:)

  11. Foto bellissime, soprattutto la bambina ed i peperoncini, poi le mucche, belle belle, ti abbraccio e ti auguro un buon fine settimana pieno di colori:-)

  12. Very interesting. Thanks.

  13. What a nice trip, Nihal. All beautiful images, from the country houses, the animals, to the window, the portrait of the girl, the interesting "oya".
    Thanks for sharing!