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MAŞALLAH

Turks defer male circumcision until the boy has reached the age of six or seven, thus turning it from a birth ritual into a coming-of-age rite.  On the day of the event, the boys dress in white or blue suits, a cape trimmed with white fur, complete with a matching flat topped hat, with a sash across his chest proclaiming the word, “Maşallah”,  [Wonderful or Praise Be],and carrying a mace are paraded through the town on the back of a donkey or, more usually, standing through the open sun roof of a car. When the circumcision is completed, the young boy's "status" changes drastically, they hold court like a king, lying on a lavishly decorated bed, receiving compliments and gifts. Celebration of ritual circumcision is usually held after schools go on vacation or in the autumn, prior to the opening of schools.  A boy who will be circumcised is called Sünnet Çocuğu, Child of Circumcision.

When the ceremony  is over he is given a Cumhuriyet Altını, a gold coin, or a watch as a gift. As the gifts are presented the donor utters the words “May everything remain in the past, may you gain your health soon”. As the boy recuperates the family and friend celebrate the passing from boyhood to manhood with a lavish meal and the celebrations often continue into the wee small hours.

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