National Geographic : 1963 Dec
Hunters on the heights look down on Antakya, the medieval Antioch, today a quarter the size Another crash of thunder, a nearby bolt of lightning, and every light in town went out. No one seemed surprised. The manager and the waiter hurried with candles, and the party continued. A flute player, a drummer who used his hands instead of sticks, and a tambourine player emerged from the kitchen where they had been drying their instruments near the open charcoal fire. They played, and we all clapped in rhythm, and the candles flickered, and the guests began to sing. After perhaps half an hour two men in their sixties, both dressed in white blouses and the traditional baggy trousers of the Turkish countryside, got to their feet and everyone cheered. Tables were moved back to make a 818 square and, without any self-consciousness, the elderly pair performed what Turgay told me was an ancient dance, spinning, bowing, but treading always with infinite grace. War Dance for a Wedding Party There were perhaps 40 of us in the little room and the candlelight was dim and the rain continued to pour down outside and the windows were steamy. Some of the older guests moved their chairs near ours, and we shook hands and had a glass of wine together. Another pair danced, and someone sang a strange wailing song, and then one of the first pair of dancers came to my chair and spread his hands in a gesture that said plainly: "And what are you going to do for the party?"