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Whirling Dervishes of Rumi Come to Wayne State

The Turkish American Society of Michigan is hosting a performance by the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi on the campus of Wayne State University this weekend.

The dervishes are a religious group of men from Turkey that follow the teachings of the Sufi philosopher and poet Rumi. One of their ceremonies, in which they gracefully spin around one another in synchronized circles, is called the Sema [Sah-Mah]. For the dervishes, it’s a meditative practice meant to result in a state of spiritual ecstasy. But for people the world over, the whirling, set to traditional music, is recognized as a highly skilled performance.

Yunus Zeytuncu is a professor of mathematics at University of Michigan-Dearborn and a member of the Turkish American Society of Michigan.

He tells WDET’s Travis Wright about Detroit's Turkish community, the history of the dervishes, what comes to mind when he thinks about Rumi.

Yunus Zeytuncu is principal in bringing the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi from Turkey to Wayne State’s Community Arts Auditorium. The performance takes place Saturday at 2 PM.

Buy tickets here.