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.
A tent put up by yörüks, which translates delightfully as walkers – what we might call travellers – will 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
* Backstory: Cooking good: fair set in Stokey
David Altheer 140514
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