Tuesday, August 7, 2012

just wondering - what do we mean by Ethnic?

Remember my trip to Istanbul a couple of weeks back? Have I even written about my visit to Istanbul?? Perhaps not. Okay, here we go then. I am SO behind with my posts.

Istanbul is a city where east meets west (literally, sitting on 2 different continents), my dear Istanbul which I could easily call my hometown. Had 2 full days to visit some friends and the usual stores and whole-sellers I usually visit. And made a few new friends, as well! Always a pleasure.

One of the new interesting acquintances is the owner of Sofa Art & Antiques - if you visit Grand Bazaar, drop into their store. It is right there between Starbucks and one of the entrances. BEAUTIFUL pieces (these hand-made pomegranates were a true must have in the store...). The owners are true enthusiasts and gladly share their knowledge with you.

We had a really nice chat and I was telling him we are making a small collection of ethnic items to Weranna's Warehouse and how I love the Turkish antiques and especially the antique textiles. He was so happy to meet someone who appreciates their culture (they were using tiara's while we were still wearing seal-skins or something here in Scandinavia, so really, no problem there) and made me promise I would write something nice about the traditional Ottoman pieces. Of course :)!

And afterwards I started thinking - what is Ethnic? What is my ethnic group? If someone looks at Finland, what do they see as 'ethnic'? Is it the chip baskets and the rag rugs and the bark bushels? Felt boots and reindeer hides? Do I add those to the ethnic section then, as well? Perhaps should just drop the name 'Ethnic' and call it 'Traditional beauties of the world' or something more suitable. Need to think about it.

But, but, but - Pomegranate. What is it about pomegranate and the Ottoman culture? Pomegranate is assumed to have originated in Iran and Afghanistan. The fruit was a holy symbol and symbolized the soul's immortality and the perfection of nature. Along with olive, dates and fig trees, the pomegranate tree is one of the four holy trees of Islam.

The pomegranate plant is evergreen throughout the year. Many holy scripts of different religions refer to the pomegranate seed, pay tribute to the beauty of the blooming pomegranate and the taste of its fruit, making it the symbol of prosperity and fertility.

Newly weds in Anatolia and the Middle East are still served pomegranates to bless them with a lot of offspring. For Muslims the pomegranate is also a symbol of beauty, and Prophet Mohammed advised pregnant women to eat pomegranates if they wanted beautiful children :).

Beautiful symbolism and beautiful pieces, eller hur?


1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm, I think for me the best thing would be to eat as many as I can and buy one of these beauties, it's always nice being fertile ;-)