Gold Days

by Tara Agacayak on December 16, 2009

First let me explain what a Turkish “Gold Day” (altin gunu) is.

It’s when a group of women decide to come together at set intervals (usually once or twice a month) to chat, eat, and exchange gold (or lira or dollars … whatever they agree upon). Every woman in the group takes her turn hosting her friends so that by the end of the year everyone has been a hostess and a guest. And the hostess keeps the pot. (Think coffee klatch with a rotating pool of money.)

Here are five ways I have benefited from Gold Days that I’ve participated in:

  1. When I first came to Turkey they were safe places for me to develop friendships and meet people.
  2. Through conversations at these gatherings I learned the local language.
  3. In addition to language, I also learned other valuable things such as which professionals (i.e., doctors, hairdressers, shop owners) were the best.
  4. By observing the women in the group I developed a sense of acceptable etiquette, behavior and protocol.
  5. I got out what I put in; whether it was friendship, consideration, or money.

This week I created two new online forums: the Intarsia Concept Forum for creative entrepreneurs building businesses, and a LinkedIn group called Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media (which is now called Global Niche). I also attended my first Gold Day of the season (a season typically runs while children are in school, approximately fall-spring).

It occurred to me as all these events coincided with each other, that they are actually quite similar. Just as with Gold Days (which you can think of as an offline forum), online forums have these benefits:

  1. They are a safe place to build relationships with like-minded people.
  2. They provide a place to learn the “local” language whether it’s knitting, blogging, or creative entrepreneurship.
  3. By spending time with people of varying skill levels, you have the opportunity to learn what the majority opinion is on that subject – what yarn is the best, which is the best blogging platform, or how other people are building their businesses.
  4. You get the chance to observe how others behave in environments that matter to you online; ways that will help you develop yourself.
  5. You get out what you put in.

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