An Alevi Folk band from Holland will be making their first appearance in Britain next month following an invitation from the youth wing of the Glasgow Alevi Cultural Centre and Cemevi. Vengi Dersim, a trio based in Rotterdam, will perform at a concert at the Pearce Institute in Govan on Sunday 17 April. The event will also feature traditional bağlama music and a spiritual sema dance.
Vengi Dersim comprises of three young friends – Didem Ketenci (singer), ), Mertcan Bulut (bağlama) and Çağdaş Ataş (guitar). The trio have known each other since the age of eight through attending various classes at the Holland Alevi Cultural Centre and Cemevi (Alevi place of workship). Their love of music – which plays a major part in the Alevi faith – encouraged them to come together as a band, performing well-known Turkish, Zaza, and Kurdish Folk songs.
There are an estimated 300,000 Alevis in the UK, with 200 Alevi families based in Glasgow. The Glasgow Alevi Youth was formed in 2013 to help bring together young Alevis, many of them first generation living in Scotland, so they can understand and retain their spiritual and cultural roots. The group organises activities such as going to the cinema, bowling and music nights, and culturally they run their own semah (Alevi ritual dance) and drama group called Yol Theatre.
The concert on 17 Apr., which will run all afternoon, will be the Glasgow Alevi Youth’s biggest event to date and their first public concert. Everyone is most welcome to attend.
Alevism is a faith, which has evolved over centuries drawing on various spiritual beliefs and cultures from a broad geographical area in Central Asia and Anatolia. For Alevis, every human being is a carrier essence of HAKK (God). Among its key historical figures are the Alevi saint Hacı Bektaş Veli and poet Pir Sultan Abdal.
There are an estimated 12 million Alevis in Turkey, with the faith experiencing a huge revival in the 1970s. While their religion shares some common traits with both Sufi and Shia Islam, it also has profound differences: men and women worship together in Cemevi (not mosque) with music, which plays a sacred role. Its spiritual essence and rituals are also inspired by more ancient religious teachings including Shamanism.
Event: Vengi Dersim concert
Date: Sunday 17th April 2016
Doors open: 1pm
Venue address: The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Rd, Glasgow G51 3UU
Bookings & more info: facebook.com/Glasgow-Alevi-Youth