In his speech today, my dear teacher Cemâlnur Sargut said, “The most unifying element between people is music .” I would like to share an experience that I have seen with my own eyes and was very impressed by this proposition, which I believe wholeheartedly.
It is a fact, albeit a bitter one, that the beautiful people of our beautiful country are separated and even divided in terms of their beliefs, lifestyles and clothing. It is also sad to see this situation deepening.
Yesterday evening I was telling this anecdote to my choirmates, with whom we have been singing for years, because the environment we were in required it, and when my teacher brought it up this morning, it was a must to write the anecdote.
A few years before the pandemic, we were invited to a relative’s wedding. You know, one of the catered weddings held in the ballrooms of hotels. There was a cocktail reception before the wedding. Some of the guests wore low-cut dresses, of course for the ladies, while others wore hijab. The different clothing preferences of the families immediately stood out. But the young people loved each other, they decided to live life together and the process progressed until the wedding. May God bring it to completion. Back to the wedding.
During the cocktail, which was served standing up, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks were served, the preliminary ceremony, in which the wedding owners welcomed their guests and chatted with them on their feet, continued in this way, and when the doors of the hall opened, everyone proceeded towards the table where their names were written. In the rectangular hall, round tables were placed in equal numbers on the left and right sides, with a passageway in between. You know, the precision in the calculation of the number of guests invited by the boy and the girl at weddings. After the guests had settled at their tables, I realized with horror that the cleavage group was positioned on one side of the hall and the other group on the opposite side. Of course, this was chosen for well-intentioned, practical reasons; the organizing company had made such an arrangement so that those who knew each other could socialize and chat more easily. But the situation was dire, the coldness, the tension was knee-deep. Mutual, critical glances were exchanged.
Finally, the young fiancés arrived at the hall, the wedding was solemnized, the first dance was danced, the hands of the elders were kissed. In the meantime, the food service was completed, the guests had eaten their fill and it was time to have fun. After the dinner and the wedding, the harsh atmosphere in the hall had softened a bit. Just then something miraculous happened. When the light dinner music ended and the DJ started playing a fidgety, jiggly track that called on the statesmen to “play”, all differences were suddenly erased and the floor was instantly full. Everyone was immersed in the rhythm of the music. There was no trace of the earlier divisive, even slightly insulting attitude. Encouraged and happy that the floor was filling up so fast, the DJ continued with the same kind of game airs, and after a while I realized that everyone was mingling with each other. Regardless of clothing, there is a lot of mutual playing, hand in hand, arm in arm, shouting along to the music and even hugging.
“Hey God,” I said, “what is the power of MUSIC? A joy, a peace, a HOPE filled me.