Since we were talking about dervishes in Candide, in which the dervish is relatively useless, I wanted to show another side of Sufi culture. The whirling dervishes are about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Sufi whirling is one form of active meditation in the Sufi branch of Islam. It is still practiced today by the Mevlevi Order, which has been around since the 13th century. The word “dervish” itself means an initiate of the Sufi order.
Watching the dervishes is absolutely mesmerizing. I feel like even people who don’t share the dervish Muslim and Sufi beliefs can get something from watching them meditate. It’s almost trance-inducing to watch them spin. There is a link to a video about whirling below.
P.S. For you musical people who may or may not be familiar with Rodgers’ and Hamerstein’s The Sound of Music, there is a line in the song “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria” that directly refers to whirling dervishes: “She'd out pester any pest, drive a hornet from its nest. She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl.” I’ve attached a link to the song below.