Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

nazar boncuk

One of my favorite symbols in Turkey is the nazar boncuğu.  This talisman is also known as the Evil Eye- in that it supposedly protects you from it.  The Evil Eye is a concept that “evil” or jealous eyes can bring bad juju on you.  Even Islamically speaking this can be true, that people that are jealous of you can wish you harm.  According to the lore, even someone with “bright eyes” (basically any color but brown) can cause nazar by simply admiring a thing, even with pure intentions.  Wearing this charm or hanging it around your house can prevent the juju from getting you.

This talisman is also common in Greece and other Mediterranean areas.

  While in real life we know that nazar cannot be prevented by using a shiny piece of painted glass, I love it.  For me it will always be a symbol of Turkey and Turkish culture.