Saturday, August 21, 2010

How to make a wish in Central Asia

Where ever I travel people's different beliefs always amazes me and as you can imagine its not always easy and possible to observe people when they are in a ritual. But I was quite lucky to get some interesting shots as well as joining the crowds who were talking with angels while travelling in central Asia....

So lets start with some common ones, like visiting the tomb of a holy man or woman and rotate around the tomb couple times while praying.. (photo from Turkmenistan)

 or tying piece of fabrics to a branch that is close to the tomb..

What would you do if you need a house? Build a model one around a tomb where you believe a holy man lies

What about a baby? Start building a small crib and place it near a tomb which is known for answering the prayers for a child.

and what about if you want to see and talk with the angels. Here is me on the mission..Did I see and talk with them? Sorry I am not suppose to tell anybody, thats the rule...

Another way is to make a wish and try to rotate a stone on your finger. If it makes a full turn your wish will soon be granted. I tried... believe me its difficult.

To pass under a fallen tree trunk where the holy man once seated under it. İt might remind you of Buddha but these following two photos are from Uzbekistan from the tomb of Sufi Saint Baha al-din Naqshbandi. As being the founder of the powerful Naqsbandi sect in Islam, it is an important pilgrimage site for its followers.

and the last but the most dangerous one is again from Turkmenistan. There is a rather small hill which ends up in a cemetary. So if you have a wish, you are paying a small amount of money to the man sitting there and he is wraping you with a quilt and pushes you down. According tothe information given to me if you go straight, your wish will soon be granted, if you go left , no chance and if you go right there might be a possibility so you have to try it again sometime later.. 

Unfortunately I couldnt observe this ritual eventhough I waited for some time. The locals were very shy about the foreigners watching them. However our guide later sent this photo for my blog that he took couple years ago. Although it is not very clear it is still giving an idea..

 So have a nice weekend and I hope all your wishes come true whereever and however you are praying for them


  1. As always, Aysegul, your posts fascinate. You must get tired of the word! Do you know of a ritual that will bring me world travel? That's the one I'll do.

  2. Very interesting. Thank you.

  3. This is the most unusual and absorbing post I've ever seen.
    And you are such a brave one to try these rituals!

  4. Fascinating! Love the picture of the women rotating the stone. And the photo of you talking with the angels!

  5. How interesting!!! I think I will just stick to wishing on a star!

  6. Wonderful post. Glad your travels show us such uniqueness. My way has always been to say fervently, 'I wish...'.

  7. WOW! What a magical post dear! LOVE those pictures!
    They are simply stunning!!
    Thanks for the info..I love to hear people's different beliefs.
    Happy Sunday!

  8. Some most unusual customs to us Westerners. The rolling down the hill looks quite dangerous I imagine some don't recover from this if they crash into a large rock or tomb.
    May your wishes be granted without the need to try this.

  9. some are beautiful rituals and some quite strange to me...but thank you for educating me!

    i think the fabric on tree limbs is quite nice!

  10. Aysegul,
    Your posts are the most interesting and educational! Such beautiful pictures and fascinating spiritual rituals. I would pray for health and health of my loved ones. Gorgeous!

  11. How interesting! You should have tried rolling down the hill yourself. And wished for your true desire.

  12. So fascinating.. and some look quite beautiful too.. the rags on the branch look wonderful.. so I might try this myself... I think this ritual is adopted in a few countries... and now mine!!

    You know I have some photos of the 'wishing stone' in Haggia Sofia.. where you had to turn your thumb in the stone pillar.... [from memory]... I can't remember what I wished for!! haha.. so don't know if it came true...

    I love all the colours in their dress and quilts.. beautiful.. Have a wonderful week.. xxx Julie

  13. this is all so interesting, thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  14. Wonderful post,as long as there are human beings there will be rituals,thanks.

  15. Interesting!
    On Saturday we saw anti-bullfighting groups protest outside Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain. I guess you could call that some kind of wishing...

  16. This is so interesting! I never thought about how people of different cultures ask for favors and good luck... you make me think... in Mexico we just pray I believe... but in Japan I saw many wisha and good luck rituals and I thought they were so magical and beautiful!

  17. that is such a beautiful post. this interests me very much. thank you for sharing it

  18. I agree with everyone else, this post is interesting, beautiful and most of all — fascinating! You bring other parts of the world right into my home and I thank you for that!



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