When I was growing up as a teenager kina gece or henna parties on a large scale within the Turkish London/UK community were deemed as 'old fashioned'. It is really nice to see that the kina gece has done a 180 and is popular once again. I have had the pleasure of performing at wonderful henna parties. The brides and organisers are getting really creative.
Personally, I love performing belly dance at a kina gece. It celebrates, women, community and love - three things that I value dearly. I love to see everyone enjoying themselves, young and old dancing together - even that aunty or Teyze who has the 'knee problems'. Without the men around, I really feel that women can let go and enjoy the night fully.
Planning a kina gece party? Here are my top 5 kina gece essentials.
1. A good venue
Make sure your venue is well organised, the space flows well and they can work with you to fulfil your needs and wants. Don't necessarily go for the cheapest option. People always remember food and space. Check that if you do go for the cheaper option will it sacrifice the level of service? Will you end up having to buy it from else where? Think about convenience x cost x time. Perhaps you could have smaller flower arrangements and spend your budget on food or less guests but more included in your package... Weigh up your priorities and work with your venue.
Depending on what your music taste and budget is, take time to research DJ's/music. There are traditional Turkish kina gece songs. You can play these from youtube or buy them on iTunes if you don't have a DJ. One of my personal favourite songs is 'kınayı getir aney'.
3. Your outfit
Their are so many beautiful Gelin kina outfits. Instagram has lots of inspiration. Here are some of my top accounts to follow for inspiration:
Koko Kina Organizasonu
Kina Organizasonu Anatolia
White Love Kina
4. Turkish Belly Dancer/Musicians
Make sure you hire a Turkish Belly Dancer or Musicians who understand the traditions and culture. It is so important, especially if you have older family members or a Turkish guest list. Get in touch with Tevec for your belly dance requirements.
Seems obvious. Who's going to carry it, prepare it, serve it. Does your venue have somewhere that you can prepare it? Do you want a professional henna drawing artist? Do you want to hand out little pieces of kina? Don't forget your kina at your kina gece...
6. One more for luck...
Think about your back drop. What colour, theme do you want? Will you have chairs, a swing, table, chaise longe? What suits your style? Do you want to sit with everyone else? Who do you want with you on your 'head table' or stage?
Nisan Tespileri London (for favours and table pieces)
Regency Banqueting Suite
Wishing you a memorable kina gece. Have fun!
Images below courtesy of:
Award-winning Turkish Oriental and Theatrical Fusion performer and teacher.