Ertugrul and Us
Life in Lockdown Series: Part 1
I have always been into TV and movies. So does Polar. When we met, this was one topic that we talked about endlessly . Later as we settled, we created a huge empire of DVDs in the under-bed storage of our small room. Unfortunately it had to be discarded when we emigrated.
In UK, we got Netflix, and we got the taste of TV series’ and binge watching. We had a simple formula. Weekdays, when kids were in bed, it was drama time. Weekends, when we could stay up late, were movie nights. Starting from famous ones like Prison Break, Breaking Bad, Homeland and many in between we ended up with Ozark and Peaky Blinders with occasional movies thrown in between. We watched every possible genre (except documentaries, I hate watching documentaries), about knights, superheroes, crime investigation, science geeks, heists, NY Police. You name it.
And Then, we got bored !!!
We almost switched from Netflix when, on a friend’s recommendation, we started watching… (wait for it)
E R T U G R U L !!!
Yes, that’s right. We have been watching it since March 2020. And while writing this piece, we are on episode 65 of season 4!! For those who don’t know yet, each season is 100 plus episodes long.
YES!!! We are THIS committed.
Like all other series, we watched it every weeknight. Slowly taking it in, enjoying the 12th century Turks, occasionally joking about how religious, cultured and organized they are for that period. Taking in all the history, family dramas and love stories as they come. It was slow but a good pastime.
Then came the lockdown!!
In our family, the lockdown started a week earlier than announced officially by the government. So for the first week, with no resources at hand, we had absolutely no idea how to handle the long days and two restless monsters. Even our own minds were in weird space, we could not work or even concentrate on our regular things. Homeschooling seemed like making dinner for 25 people on few hours’ notice. We were clueless!!
So we sought refuge in TV again.
This time with Kids.
And the kids, after using up their respective screen times for the day, had nothing better to do than to watch Ertugrul with us.
As we went deeper into the story, the kids’ interest started to build up. Especially for our 9 year old, who grew up in the western world and whose exposure to Muslim practices was limited to home and weekly madressa.
Initially, he was a bit confused and kept on asking who was actually more brave, Turks or Knights? Just last year his class had a play about the glory of Knights during 12th Century. And we had to tell him how dramas show one side of story. I’m not really sure he still quite understands it.
Slowly, he started to get mesmerized by the characters. How Ertugrul bey never lost a single fight (though we always chuckle how much time he wastes when he swings in style before actually cutting up the enemy), or how glamorously Turgut fights with an axe and how funny Bamsi acts around food and is lovingly called Big Bear by his friends.
And then, when he was knees deep in the drama, he started acting it out in his daily life. He wanted to be called Suleman Shah’s son Ali Abbas and called his sister Selcan hatun (because of her high pitched screaming).
He wanted us to buy him a Kayi hat. He searched and even found it on eBay. Now He wants to be dressed as Kayi Alp for this Halloween (Last year he wanted to be ‘Doppler’s Effect’ influenced by Sheldon in Big Ben Theory).
He made blue flags with ‘IYI’ sign and his sister made one with roses and sun on it. Being crafty son of a crafty mum, he made swords, axes and kayi caps made out of paper.
Every time we ask him to do something, he replies with ‘Yes bey’ with one hand on his chest. Needless to say he has started growing his hair long (not that he has an option at the moment, but for the record, he has told us his intentions beforehand).
Our daily school routing is called ‘Kayi Home School’. And guess what? He is reading more than ever before (the subtitles I mean) and hence his education continues. A win win situation.
Turkish food has always been our favorite but Ayran is now our daily nightime drink before going to bed.
Basically Ertugrul has been a life saver for us in this difficult time. Every day, after getting over with our daily chores, we all sit down everyday and watch 2–3 episodes, since time is no issue here. We predict, comment and even curse at the enemies together and cheer every time Ertugrul Bey returns victorious. What a life!