If You Ask who The Real Minstrel is/The Person Occupies with the Issues of His Era: Coronavirus Themed Poems of Minstrels in the Perspective of Their Social Roles


MILLI FOLKLOR, no.127, pp.5-17, 2020 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Sociological abstracts, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.5-17
  • Keywords: Minstrelsy tradition, Coronavirus, divine retribution, social roles, electronic media
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


The pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China reported by the Chinese authorities foreshadow an outbreak caused by a new type of coronavirus. Shortly afterwards, the World Health Organization decleared the outbreak as a pandemic due to its high infection rate and worldwide prevalence. The first diagnosis of coronavirus in Turkey was announced to the public in March, 2020. After then, several precautional meaures in social, economic, legal, religious and military areas have been adopted. In the period of the pandemic disease, several memes, urban legends, rumors, jokes, and myths concerning both the virus itself and its constrained lifestyle released into the social media. Minstrels who are the significant actors of traditional culture have written poems on the pandemic and its effects. The sensitive approaches of the minstrels to the contemporary social problems is closely related to their social role which is loaded them by the minstrelsy tradition. It is seen that the roles of the minstrels such as leading and guiding the society both affects the reasoning of writing poems and has an influence on the contents of these poems. In the quarantine period, minstrels have shared their poems especially through social media networks and Youtube. In this article, mainly the Youtube videos of the minstrels are discussed based on the motivation that Youtube provides them to reach a set of diversified audience relatively to those of existing ones. When evaluating the public opinion on the minstrelsy tradition, the posted comments of the minstrels' videos are also utilized. The large parts of the minstrels' poems refer to how and wily the coronavirus appears, how it affects the daily lives, and helplessness of the mankind against to the virus and the pandemic. The poems that advise the public to stay at home and give supporting messages to the healthcare staff have also written by the minstrels. Minstrels have succeeded to be visible to the public by means of performing their poems in electronic platforms inparticular during the period of quarantine. However, considering the historical progress of minstrelsy tradition, it is quite obvious that the minstrels and their products have relatively depreciated and their roles of leading and guiding the public are becoming restricted to a certain set of audience compared to the past. In the context of social roles of minstrels, this paper also discusses the question of what are the reasons that interrupt the efforts of the minstrels who are dealing with the contemporary problems and using the contemporary technology. The audiences of the minstrels' poems have the opinion that the minstrels' wish of eradication of the cruel persons by the virus and being the virus as a kind of divine retribution contradicts to the role of minstrels as leading and guiding the public. It is inferred that the language and the style of the interpretions as well as sometimes the outlook of the minstrels upon the coronavirus pandemic and its effects are reviewed as obsolete by the audiences.