Zenne the Male Belly Dancers of Turkey

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Zenne the Male Belly Dancers of Turkey

Today, male dancers working as belly dancers are called Zenne. Zenne is the name given to men in traditional nomadic Turkish traditions who traditionally dance in a feminine way in women’s clothing at festivities or weddings for fun.

Zenne means woman in Ottoman Turkish and is a word of Persian origin. Since it was considered a sin for Muslim Turkish women to appear on the stage in the pre-republican era, male actors played female roles in all theater performances. Today, male belly dancers are also called zenne too.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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