Who were these men in white robes and what exactly where they wearing?
March 16, 2014 6:32 PM Subscribe
A few weeks ago I was transiting through the airport in Istanbul, Turkey, and saw several men wearing odd robes. These were more like long towels than robes. The material seemed like white terry cloth bath towels, but could have been wool or another thicker material. They appeared to have one wrapped around their waists and another draped over one shoulder, although it could have been one long section. Each section would have been roughly 3' x 10' (1mx3m), or 3' x 20' if all in one. Now I am wondering, who were these men, what were they wearing and why were they dressed like that?
posted by Yorrick to Society & Culture (5 answers total)
When I say odd, I am referring wearing them for the setting and climate. Normal for a spa, the gym or the beach on warm weather, not so much in an airport with frigid weather. The robes were definitely not a pullover or structured type robe, or even a layered hare Krishna type wrap. Most of the side torso was exposed, although most of the front was exposed. Some of the men were red or pink on their torsos as the temperature was a few degrees above freezing and they were likely bussed to the terminal from their plane. They probably flew from a warmer area. I saw at least 8 but there may have been more.
The men were all in the 40-55 age range. They had modern luggage, were well groomed and clean shaved for the most part. Light skin and dark brown/black hair. There seemed to be women with some of them and they were dressed normally. A couple of the woman may have had scarves around their hair but their faces were not covered.
If I had to guess, I would say they were on a pilgrimage, or had been through some type of cleansing ritual. Any ideas what material these men were wearing and why they may have been dressed like that?