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The Mevlevi Dervishes

This is an interactive and beautifully simple, yet informative, photo essay about Rumi, sufism, whirling dervishes and the sema ceremony, for anyone who may be curious about such matters.

The first time I attended a sema was when a group of whirling dervishes from Konya visited the Royal Albert Hall in London in the early 1980s. 30 years had passed since their last visit, hence the event was regarded as momentous; the event was surrounded by great excitement by the media and London’s cultural circles. For me the whole experience was extraordinary, like an explosion of unadulterated beauty; it was as if my heart cracked wide open, witnessing the whole ceremony through a veil of tears and a sense of profound joy.

“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair.”

– Rumi (1207-1273)

Click here to view: Whirling dervishes at the Rumi Festival in Konya – a photo essay (The Guardian, 18.12.2015)

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