Big Turkish free fest returns to Stoke Newington

Anatolian fete Clissold Park Stoke Newington Lon N16 ©

ONE OF the biggest free festivals in the borough has added some acts that will appeal specially to children.

This year the prosaically titled Anatolian Cultural Fete will include a shadow-puppet show, along with traditional Turkish theatre, oil-wrestling, a cooking contest, traditional pottery and henna sessions.

A highlight is always the sight of the fierce-looking mail-clad bandsmen marching across Clissold Park, just as their ancestors once noisily led the mighty Ottoman army across Europe. (They were persuaded, forcefully, to turn around at Vienna.)

They are a photographer’s delight, as are the whirling dervishes. Also known as Mevlevi, these men are Sufis who aim for a state of religious ecstasy by dancing:
think clubbing
without drugs and, of course, better moves.

Whirling dervishes @ Anatolian fete Clissold Park Stoke Newington Lon N16 ©
Flying the flag: a whirling dervish in N16

A tent put up by yörükswhich translates delightfully as walkers – what we might call travellerswill offer ayran (a yogurt similar to lassi), tea, coffee and ice cream. Marbling, handicrafts, calligraphy and ornamentation displays and demonstrations will be held in the marquees.

Examples of the superb handicrafts from the regions are exhibited in the marquees. Also on sale are globules of Turkish delight, which can be a neat  appetiser for the savoury dishes from one of the world’s most transnational cuisines.

The festival aims to bridge cultural and ethnic gaps, and Loving Dalston is proud to say it was the first non-Turkish-language news outlet to cover it.

The opening ceremony is usually attended by Hackney South and Shoreditch MP Meg Hillier and Stoke Newington politician Baroness Hussein-Ece. On the day before opening to the public, the festival will stage events for local schools

* Anatolian Cultural Fete, SW corner, Clissold Park, Stoke Newington N4 2EY,  Sat 24 May 2014-Mon 26 May 2014. Press for times.

* Backstory: Cooking good: fair set in Stokey 

David Altheer 140514 

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