14 Ağustos 2007 Salı

What is a hammam?

The hammam ( Turkish: hamam) is one of the oldest and best known specialties of Turkish life. The hammam or Turkish bath is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, all though it is very different it is sometimes categorized as a wet relative of the sauna.
The tradition of the Turkish bath extends far back, to a time before Turks had reached Anatolia. When the Turks arrived in Anatolia, they brought with them one bathing tradition, and were confronted with another, that of Romans and Byzantines, with certain local variants. The traditions merged, and with the addition of the Moslem concern for cleanliness and its concomitant respect for the uses of water, there arose an entirely new concept, that of the Turkish Bath. In time it became an institution, with its system of ineradicable customs. For the Turkish bath was much more than just a place to cleanse the skin.

Like the Roman baths, the hammam became a place to socialize. "Your town is only a perfect town when there is a bath in it," said Abu Sir, an early Arab historian.

The hammams in the Ottoman culture started out as structural elements serving as annexes to mosques, however quickly evolved into institutions and eventually with the works of the Ottoman architect Sinan, into monumental structural complexes, the finest example being the Çemberlitaş Hammam in Istanbul, built in 1584.

Being social centers, in the Ottoman Empire, hammams were quite abundant, and were built in almost every Ottoman city. Integrated in daily life, one of the rare public meeting places for women in the Islamic context, a place for relaxation and a place for religious, artistic and ceremonial activities, they were centers of social gatherings, populated on almost every occasion with traditional entertainment (e.g. dancing and food, especially in the women's quarters) and ceremonies, such as before weddings, high-holidays, celebrating newborns, beauty trips etc.

The hammam became such an important part in the lives of Moslem women that if a husband were to deny his wife her visits to the hammam, she had grounds for divorce. Mothers found the opportunity to inspect prospective brides for their sons in the hammam, where no physical flaws or social foibles could escape notice.

Etiketler: , , , , , , , ,

0 Yorum:

Yorum Gönder

Kaydol: Kayıt Yorumları [Atom]

<< Ana Sayfa

www.as-rank.de pagerank-service - Pagerank Anzeige ohne Toolbar
traffic rank-master.com - boost your linkpopularity!