Today is Wednesday, hump day, which means that there are only 4 days left until the Selcuk Came Wrestling Festival! I tried to look up camel jokes for the occasion, but none were good or in good taste. So, instead, I will share a Turkish proverb that I found: "No camel route is long, with good company." Ain't that the truth...
|Adorned camel at last year's festival in Selcuk|
I also looked up a few tidbits about the history of camel wrestling in Turkey in preparation for the occasion. The sport, a testament to the power of the female in nature, where two male camels are brought to blows, or to neck linking to be precise, by the presence of a female in heat. Victory is declared when one camel pins the other or when a camel runs from the arena. It has been tradition in some parts of Turkey for over 2,400 years , has seen a revival since the 1980s after being discouraged, along with the fez in the 1920s when the Turkish government turned an eye towards modernity with Europe as its model. In addition to the camel wrestling festival, the camels literally come with bells on as they are dressed to the nines with colorful fabrics, brass bells, and pompoms, and judged in a beauty pageant. They are quite a sight to behold. And, fun fact about camels: those long eyelashes aren't just for looks. The two rows of lashes help protect the camel's eyes from sand, as does an additional clear eyelid. Needless to say, I am quite excited for this weekend. I can't wait to be immersed in the atmosphere of the festival and to get an eyeful of these creatures' frothy mugs. Happy hump day!