Kurdish (Eastern Turkey)

SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Frances Ajoian who learned it in the Armenian community of Fresno, California, in the 1950s and taught it in California. Tom Bozigian learned it in the early 1960s from Jimmy Haboian of Detroit, Michigan, and taught it during his early teaching tours in the United States. John Filcich taught the dance at the 1970 California Kolo Festival.
BACKGROUND: Tin Tin is taken from the title of the song "Tin Tin Tini Mini Hanim," which refers to the "pretty little lady" about whom the song is sung. It is a variant of the "Halay" that is danced by the Kurdish population of Eastern Turkey. Jimmy Haboian learned the dance from the Kurdish minority of Detroit in his youth. A more recent Armenian variant, simply called "Teen," is also popular.

Latif Bolat, one of the most well-known Turkish musicians in the U.S., remembers the tune from his own childhood, although he had never witnessed anyone dancing to the tune in any of the village weddings that he attended. He says that the Halay style is generally from the Eastern Turkey but since it is in 2/4 time, it is easy to play and has been performed all over Turkey. The Turks were horseback riding people, so it is very understandable that a 2/4 dance or even musical styles are more wide spread than 9/8 or 6/8.

Latif also says that in the big picture of life, many immigrants make up dances to popular melodies but this is not really important. Who knows where these songs and dances were originated. Turks, Kurds, Armenians, Arabs, and Greeks have been living together for the past 1,000 years. They didn't pay much attention to the academics of keeping their traditions in a pure form. They just did whatever they needed to do to survive and enjoy life and that is how these cultures arrived in our own times.

MUSIC:Kef Time Las Vegas (LP) SH-100k, side 1, band 4;
"Tom Bozigian Presents Songs and Dances of the Armenian People - Vol II" (LP) GT-4001;
Festival (45rpm) FM-4007-A.
FORMATION:Dancers standing close together in lines of 5 to 6 dancers, fingers intermeshed, arms bent at elbows, shldrs touching in an arm-lock hold.
STEPS/STYLE: Leader may flourish a handkerchief in the R hand. The entire short line moves as a single unit.


 INTRODUCTION - Wait through musical interlude.
1Facing diag R and moving diag fwd, step R (ct 1); step L next to R (ct &); step R (ct 2);
2Step L across in front of R, bending R knee (ct 1); with L still on floor, change wt to R and bounce twice (cts 2,&);
3Step L, bending knee slightly (ct 1); bounce twice on L as R toe touches floor next to L (ct 2,&);
4Step R in LOD (ct 1); bring L to R as R pivots to face ctr (ct 2);
5Moving slightly diag bwd with each ct, pivot on R heel, turning toe diag R as wt changes to L (ct 1); pivot on L heel, turning toe diag L as wt changes to R (ct 2);
6-8Repeat action of meas 5 three more times. On ct 2 of meas 8, close R to L without wt.
 Repeat entire dance from beg.

Kurdish (Eastern Turkey)

/ Tin tin tini mini hanım /
/ Seni seviyor canım. /
/ Tin tin tini mini hanım /
/ Seni seviyor canım.
/ Şeftali ağaçlkarı. /
/ Güllü çiçek başları. /
/ Yaktıyandırdıbeni /
/ Yarin hilâl kaşları. /
/ Bahçalarda ibrişah. /
/ Boyu uzun, kendi şah. /
/ İki gönül bir olsa /
/ Ayıramaz padişah. /
  Oh my tiny little lady,
My very soul is in love with you.
Oh my tiny little lady,
My very soul is in love with you.
Peach trees are blooming
With so many flowers.
Her crescent eyebrows
Burned me to ashes.
In the gardens climbing vines
So very tall, so royal.
If two hearts entwine
Even a sultan cannot separate them.

Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes