After seeing the women weaving the rugs, our guide took us down a long corridor best described as the “Hall of Rugs” sort of like the Hall of Fame.
They were incredible.
He told us more about the history of rug making in Turkey and the conditions the women used to work in and how they are better now.
He also told us that he loves his job and enjoys being able to show people this amazing art each and every day.
When he spoke, you could hear the pride in his words and see it in his eyes.
This is someone who had found a job that he loved and was very proud of doing when he woke up.
As we walked into the Hall of Rugs, Jill and I noticed a rather obvious sign stating that “No pictures and no videos.”
We looked at our guide and asked, “So we aren’t allowed to take pictures in this hall?” in hopes that he’d let it slide.
He looked at us, smiled, and said, “Oh, you can take all the pictures you want. We just don’t allow Chinese people to take pictures.”
Jill and I guessed the reason why, as we’ve been living in China for just over a year, but wanted to hear what our guide’s reason was just in case we were wrong.
He added, “They come on the tour, take pictures, and then copy them with inferior quality and material. It has happened so often that we can not allow them to take pictures anymore. We have no problem with anyone else taking pictures.”
Jill and I laughed at the absurd reality of the situation and started taking a few pictures just to document our trip through the Hall without being obvious or rude.
It is about fitting in, for us, as we like to be tourists but also want to be the kind of tourists that aren’t that noticeable all the time.
There is no way I can show, through pictures, the incredible detail and exquisite workmanship of these rugs.
You have to visit Turkey yourself to see, and understand, them and how the culture informs their artwork.