Once again the Contemporary Lovers of Mevlana had the opportunity to share Mevlevi music and Sema Ceremony, and some of the thoughts and words of our patron saint, the Exalted Mevlana, with many people in our neighbor country, Greece. On Sunday 17 June, 2001, a group consisting of 33 members of our association left Istanbul and visited Thesselonica, Yiannitsa, Volos, and again Thesselonica.



In each place we presented a 45 minute concert of hymns, mostly composed by Hasan Çıkar and members of our choir, and two different versions of the Sema Ceremony, with words by Hasan Çıkar and music by Mete Edman and Hakan Ayik.     The second evening, in Yiannitsa, the audience sat under umbrellas while our musicians played in the light rain; but that didn’t discouraage anybody–nobody left until the very last part of the ceremony was finished. Again, the beauty and sublimity of the music and the Sema effected everyone and kept them in their seats until the end. Even while leaving in the rain there were questions of, “What are the meanings of the colors of the gowns?” (They represent roses in a garden of color and beauty in honor of God.) “Do these people have regular jobs and lives, or is this their profession?” (The members of our association are all either students or employed; we live regular lives within society with families and friends–the difference is that we do this with the intention of following the path of the Exalted Mevlana, the path of love and peace and brotherhood. Our intention is to be true human beings, useful to society and aware of our need to be grateful to God for everything.)    The theater in Volos was filled, and after the program a Theology Professor spent some time discussing Mevlana and the Mevlevi Way with our Honorary President, Hasan Çıkar. In the end, the professor had to accept that Hasan Çıkar had more insights into some aspects of the subject; this is obvious to us because Hasan Çıkar developed within a circle of people who had gotten their training and spirituality from solid roots. There is book learning, and then there is knowledge that comes without books; the one is available to all, the other is available only to a chosen few.     The last night in Thesselonica the outdoor theaater was filled to capacity, but the noise level was very low–the audience was very aware of the sacredness of the Ceremony and very impressed by it. Afterwards some people gathered around Hasan Çıkar and asked questions; later they followed our group to the bus, and waited with us until the very last moment that we were boarding. They had experienced something very special and didn’t want it to end. Actually this is the goal of all of us to keep the Divine alive in our hearts every moment, to live that Divine Love always.     In July we will be going to Italy for a week, from 21 to 27 July, 2001. For more details you can contact us at our regular telephone numbers and email .