giovedì 24 marzo 2011


Teqe Rufai in Prizren

Once a year the Dervishes of Prizren, in southern Kosovo, celebrate "Nevruz," (new day). Nevruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in persian calendar. During this dancing ritual, preachers pray for peace and tolerance while remaining with their pierced faces, as part of the ritual ceremony. The ritual occurs on March 22nd. Ancient piercing techniques are applied, by stabbing their bodies with huge needles, as a way of finding salvation and the way of god. The knives symbolize the healing of all wounds. "This is the blessing of God and the power of the order", says an elderly high-ranking Dervish after the ceremony. Dervishes are shunned by many fellow Muslims as starry-eyed mystics, but the Dervishes who gathered recently in Prizren for a centuries-old celebration do not see themselves as outside the Islamic pale. "We are Muslims and, like them, we are in the same sea. They swim. We prefer to go underwater" says Shejh Adrihusejn, the leader of Prizren's Rifai order.


Cleaning and shaping the tools
Cleaning and shaping the tools
Ritual dance for Nevroz
Dervishes during the ceremony
Ritual dance for Nevroz
Dervishes during the rituals

 Dervish after the performance

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