Ottawa Turkish Festival

Turkish traditional clothes

Turkish traditional clothes

Turkish folk dance video

The Ottawa Turkish Festival is large, yet it maintains the sense of community trust that I remember from living in Turkey The coffee was served in real Turkish coffee cups with saucers, the assumption being that everyone would return the valuable dishes when their treat was finished. The children wandered free of their adults and played wildly in the balloon tent. Some children manned a booth on their own, giving out festival souvenirs. One thing I noticed that was different from where I lived in Turkey- the men and women mingled freely; there were no distinct gender groups and families sat together.

I made a beeline for the food: ¬†gozleme and borek (spinach and feta), dolma (rice and salce rolled in grape leaves), kofte patties, mantu (handmade pasta with beef, yogurt sauce and a spicy oil). I ate ’til I was stuffed, then went back for more tea and some baklava.

Entertainment was spectacular, as always. Enjoy the videos here!

Turkish folk dance

Sitar and spoons

I spoke to many people and despaired that my Turkish has further dwindled. In line waiting for barbeque kofte, a man with a strong French accent asked me in an undertone, why the women cover their heads. “Is it culture or religion?” he asked me, the white Christian, when he was surrounded by Muslims.

When Turkey filled my mouth, ears and eyes, and the last entertainer started singing songs from the western world, I turned toward home. As I walked away I could hear her song, one of Sarah McLachlan’s- “In the arms of the angels, may you find some comfort here” and I suddenly wept, without knowing I would, for my Bey, even though I felt him close by.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>