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In Istanbul, drummers keep ancient Ramadan tradition alive

By Associated Press In Istanbul ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-06-18 06:54:23

In the dark of night, when the streets of Istanbul enjoy a rare moment of quiet, Ali Buldu sets out beating his drum to wake up his neighborhood. For most, Buldu's passing is a welcome sign that the Muslim month of fasting and prayer has begun.

The 55-year-old decked in traditional Ottoman attire has been making these pre-dawn Ramadan rounds for half of his life. It's a tradition he treasures, just like his forefathers did, and one that he is trying to pass on to the next generation.

Roughly 2,000 drummers wander around Istanbul's neighborhoods during Ramadan, a time when Muslim families fast from sunrise to sundown and come together for prayer and copious meals sweetened by dates and pastries to break the fast. The drummers wander the streets to wake up residents for sahur - meals eaten before dawn.

In Istanbul, drummers keep ancient Ramadan tradition alive

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