The Growing Influence of Turkish Culture

The Growing Influence of Turkish Culture

I spent the first week of April in Costa Rica and, as I said in last week’s blog, I was surprised to see Turkish items like nazar boncugu bracelets for sale there. This week I’ll include a few more Turkish sightings in unexpected places.

When the group of vacationers I was with headed to beach near Puerto Viejo, friend Corinne took a colorful cloth to use as a towel. I recognized it as a Turkish pestemel, and she told me her Turkish friend in San Jose, Aysegul, had given it to her. Pestemels absorb water while remaining lightweight and flattering.

Later, shopping in the little village of Playa Cocles, we ran into more pestemels, neatly stacked and selling for about $35 each.

Back in San Jose, we stopped to meet Aysegul, and joined her for coffee and baklava in her beautiful garden. Before we left, she took us inside and I noticed this wall of typical Costa Rican casitas — with a nazar boncugu right in the middle!

And this morning (Sunday) in Minnesota I got a text from a friend who visited me in Turkey, that read, “One more year with cloves from the Spice Bazaar.”  The message featured a photo of her Easter ham (sorry if this puts off some readers) adorned with karanfil.

Little by little, these items act as the “front men” for a vibrant culture. What’s next?

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