Being suppressed during the times of Kemal Ataturk in Turkey the practice of whirling dervishes was revived in 1956 and from then the Turkish Government permitted an annual celebration at Konya or a week of whirling which culminates each year on the Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi’s death on December 17th. A man who founded the practice of whirling and is considered to be a man of wisdom, spiritual master, and the most highly regarded poet-philosopher in Islam. In 2005 Mevlevi Semâ Ceremony was proclaimed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. It enhanced the role of Semâ Ceremony not only in the Turkish society but in the whole world making the whirling dervish as a symbol of nation state. Over the period of time Semâ was transformed from closed ritual ceremonies in dergah (monasteries) into big shows performed in stadiums attracting thousands of tourists. On December 17, 2015 owing to Şebnem Sözer (Cohort 1 alumnae) I had an opportunity to watch this mysterious and spectacular ritual performance. Together with Şebnem we watched it on the last day of the annual 10-day commemoration of the death of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi.
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