Female drummer bangs it loud to wake all for Ramadan meal

Female drummer bangs it loud to wake all for Ramadan meal

BAKILESİR – Anadolu Agency
Female drummer bangs it loud to wake all for Ramadan meal

AA photo

Despite an expansive range of electronic alarm devices, Turks still enjoy the tradition of Ramadan drummers, who wake up neighborhoods for a last meal before the fasting hours begin, and while this duty has traditionally been an all-male business, a woman in northwestern Turkey has joined their ranks. 

“Once every one wakes up, then I go home for my sahur,” 56-year-old Hasibe Bulut from the northwestern province of Balıkesir told Anadolu Agency, referring to the day’s last meal before fasting. 

“The residents are really surprised when they see that it was me beating the drum,” she said.

“Sometimes women call me to their houses to have the meal together,” she added. 

Actually, Bulut did not start performing the job of her own accord but rather in a way inherited it. 

It was first her husband, Recep Bulut, who took to the streets for one month every year to bang the pre-dawn drum. When he died in a road accident in 2011, their son Ramazan took over. However, the young man had to quit drumming when he found a job in the downtown of industrialized Balıkesir, leaving his drumsticks in rural Kepsut to his mother. 

Hasibe Bulut said she brought the drum to village head Özcan Öz after her son left, but the man encouraged her to continue the job. 

She said she spent some time to learning how to beat the drum and sing just to add a little more to her tiny income, as she looks after her four children. 

She now goes out at 2 a.m. and returns home at about 3 a.m. after waking up around 60 houses in her village. 

Öz said he appreciated her efforts and added he would not have been able to find someone else to take up the drumming duties if Bulut had not accepted his offer.