A Turkish Tradition – Throwing Water

As I awoke this morning, I thought about how long it has been since I posted a blog.  The thing about writing for me is that I need to write the moment a thought comes to me!  Otherwise, my posts are dull or I just can’t think of a topic.

As the morning proceeded, I continued with my normal routine of coffee on the balcony while watering my plants and flowers.  I love to spend time there.  It’s cooler before the sun comes around.  Most of my flowers are blooming.  The small grape tomatoes are slowly ripening.  The herbs are holding their own in the hot sun.

I read recently that a person only needs to spend a short amount of time gardening each week to be happy.  I sometimes think I create “gardening needs” just to be able to call myself “gardening.”  It does make me happy.

And so I found myself this morning, as everything had been watered, picking at my geraniums when I heard a woman yell, “Güle güle.”  Goodbye!  

My eyes lowered to the street below the balcony.  A black car was pulling away.  The Istanbul license plate immediately encouraged a little boiling blood – they are even more irate drivers than Ankara’s!  But that heat was quickly cooled by the sound of splashing water.

The woman who had called goodbye behind the Istanbul visitor was about my age; not old, not young.  As she looked behind the car, her outstretched arm dropped to her side, an empty glass in her hand.  I could see a small stream of water where the car had been.  She had tossed the water behind her loved one as they had pulled away.

Water Vessels

Water Vessels

Tradition.  Many Turkish traditions are still followed by both the young and the old . . . and those in between.  The traditions cross lines, cross barriers. Both the rich and the poor often honor them . . . and those in between.

I had heard of this tradition, but don’t recall having seen it personally.  My husband is not available at the moment to ask about it. So I have googled it for you:

This is the traditional way in Turkey to bid fond farewell to loved ones who are setting out on a long journey by road vehicle.  Actually any container can be used to throw the water from…a glass or a cup would serve just as well. The tradition itself serves to express a wish — that the long journey will go smoothly, without mishap.As smooth as water.



So there you have it.


4 thoughts on “A Turkish Tradition – Throwing Water

  1. . . I remember being some what perplexed when this happened to J and me as we left the home of our Turkish ‘mother’ in Denizli many a yaer back now. I though she was washing her hands of us which caused great hilarity with our native passengers. Thanks for the memory revival.

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