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Blog 9 Persaud

The Mevlevi, also known as the Whirling Dervishes, are a sub-order of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. The Sema ceremony is a ritual practiced by the Mevlevi. This ceremony is one that is symbolic of the soul’s passage to God. Within the Sema ceremony, music plays a very important role in instructing the bodies of the dancers in a “slow dance of graceful and ecstatic turning.” The dancing that goes along with the music in the Sema ceremony are believed to create a greater connection between the individuals and God. The video portrays the slow spinning movements of the dancers along with the soft, calming instrumental that accompanies their dance. Through meditation and contemplation, the Mevlevi are also able to experience this deeper connection with God. The music played in the Sema ceremony is meant to induce meditative feelings and ultimate calmness.

Buddhist chants are similar to the music in the Mevlevi tradition. They are similar in their purpose, as both hope to achieve a meditative state to bring worshippers closer to their respective God. A clear difference in the two types of worship are that the Buddhist use chanting and focus on memorizing the verses that are important to their religion, while the Mevlevi use their dancing and body movements which are unique to their religion and how they express a connection to God.

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