15th October 2013
Location LOCATION: Istanbul

I’ve been saving these photos from the Blue Mosque for quite some time as I realised after experiencing it’s beauty first hand that something this breathtaking needs its own dedicated post. Thousands upon thousands of colourful tiles create the stunning kaleidoscope of patterns inside the Blue Mosque. When I first walked through its doors, I gasped, and then I smiled. The vast size of the room inside and its towering walls made me question just how high its curved ceilings were when my eyes began to wander upward. Dimly lit lights hang from the roof by hundreds of wires whilst the quietness of Muslim prayer and the occassional “Shhhh” from tourists to one another created an eery ambience. A soft light floods in from the glass-stained windows and fills the room below. Tourists are teetering around locals out of respect to not interfere with their calls of prayer, while locals are teetering around tourists because there’s just so many of us who are clueless and not sure where to stand. The sound of bare feet, murmers of prayer and clicking of cameras fill the room, a mix of soft sounds that is quite odd to think about let alone experience. And yet there’s an ease and calmness to the room despite how many people and activites are occuring within it. It was a strange sensation, and all I could think about was despite our cultural differences and the society we live in today, there was still a mutual respect taking place inside this incredible piece of architecture.

For someone who was bullied in my earlier days at high school (then again, who wasn’t?) for being Asian and looking different, I’ve always believed in treating each person equally despite their race, sexuality, or even job title (the question “What do you do?” just drives me mental). None of this matters to me. This also stems from being raised by the kindest and most giving parents on this planet who taught me to not only accept who I am, where I come from and what I look like, but also respect for other people and their differences to mine. It took me a long time to realise it was not a bad thing to be different, and only now do I realise that its our imperfections that make us perfect. So to experience something so rich in culture like the Blue Mosque and wearing a hijab (a viel that covers the head and chest) out of respect to my peers makes me forget about the fashion industry and bubble we live in, and gives me nice reminder of what’s really important to me in this world, which is why I would highly recommend everyone to visit the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. A little piece of fresh perspective goes a very long way…

Photos by me