Alt?n Günü: A Guide to Mastering the Five Elements

Alt?n günü (Literally Gold Day) is not just a get-together of women, it is a culture. So if you have no clue on how to behave properly, fret not. This guide is here to make you the queen of your first alt?n günü.

The essence of alt?n günü is occasions where women get together for afternoon tea at regular intervals with their friends and/or neighbors. Unlike a normal get-together, these are very elaborate affairs with at least a dozen different types of cakes, pastries, sarmas, k?s?rs, and böreks prepared by the hostess. The main social purpose of these gatherings is to chit-chat and share experiences about all aspects of life. Our guide aims to cover a typical alt?n günü that spans over five sessions.

Gossip Session

Dedikodu is the first word you shall learn if you plan to join an alt?n günü soon. Other varieties are fiskos and g?ybet, but they are not used as common as dedikodu.

Next up, you shall master the tense. M??/mi?: Hatice yapm??, ?smet demi?, Safiye gitmi?. After all, you are only narrating what you heard from someone else. In this case, you may also need ”X söyledi, ben de onun yalanc?s?y?m,(“X told me so, I take her words”) to strengthen your hand.

You can start a gossip session with one of the few phrases below:

Arkas?ndan konu?mu? gibi olmayal?m da… - This is not talking behind her back but…
Dedikoduyu sevmem ama… – I don’t really like to gossip but…
Benden duymu? olma ama… – Don’t tell anyone that I told you this but…
Aram?zda kals?n da… – Let’s keep this as a secret between us but…

Some fillers you should throw around every once in a while include, but are not limited to, “Aaa…” to show how surprised you are, “Amaaan…” to say you have had enough of something, “Ay yok art?k!” for ‘no way’, and “Ay?p valla” for shaming an aforementioned person.

You might wanna throw a few “Kar??mda olsa yüzüne de söylerim,” (If she was in front of me, I would tell it to her face) between your words to keep your audience as enthusiastic.

You can end a successful gossip session with “Neyse, dedikodu yapmayal?m,” (Anyway, let’s not gossip) after you’ve cooled down. 

Recipe Session

While food is being eaten, one of the most popular topics of discussion is naturally, recipes. Each alt?n günü has a favorite recipe closely associated with the host. Such as Ay?e’nin mercimekli köftesi, Hamiyet’in kakaolu keki, etc. In this session, women chit-chat about their new culinary inventions, the know-how of popular dishes, and follow it with a discussion on their new diet regimen and how they have lost a few pounds with this latest fad diet.

Futuristic Turkish Coffee Session

When it comes to a Turkish coffee session, it is time for the smartphones to come out. In the past when we did not have smartphones, it was usually done by the eldest or most spiritual one (kalp gözü aç?k), but nowadays the Kaave Fal? app comes to the rescue.

You open the app, take a photo of your coffee cup when it has cooled down, and submit it along with some basic details such as your name, age, and location. Then, you just wait for Falc? Bac? to do her magic for a few minutes. Zzzzt! You have a message from Falc? Bac?! She has read your coffee cup and will tell you all about the plans your life has laid out for you. You can even upgrade your fal with many more details if you are willing to pay.

Whether you pay extra or not, don’t forget the Turkish saying: Fala inanma fals?z kalma. Basically, don’t believe in the fortune, but also don’t miss an opportunity to get your fortune read. As a general rule, you should make sure to take the news lightly before you invest all your savings in that Gucci bag.

Dancing Session

Oh, what’s that I hear? Belly dance tunes? Hurray, everyone up! Sequined belts on, terliks off. Dance dance dance till you burn all those cakes and böreks you’ve just gulped down along with several cups of black tea.

“Aaa… oturmaya m? geldik, ayol?” is a sentence you will hear over and over again accompanied by a carefree hand wave to the air as if the speaker is getting rid of all her problems with one move.

Gold Session

As expected with a name like ‘alt?n günü’, now comes the point to break out the çeyrek alt?n you brought. At every meeting, it is one of the women’s turns to collect all the gold. She can either keep it in her savings or use it for her needs. She just needs to make sure to come with gold for the next alt?n günü, otherwise, she will be uninvited from future events and likely the target of the next gossip session. Uh oh. Aram?zda kals?n ama did you hear what Nurten did with all those golds she collected? Tc?k Tc?k… Ay?p valla!

All in all, an alt?n günü might be just what you need to blend in with Turkish society and learn the language and culture through a shortcut. Don’t forget to check out some classic alt?n günü recipes and their modern twists. Who knows, maybe in a few months, it could be your turn to host an alt?n günü.

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