Sunday, September 18, 2005
Turkish cultural festival, Chicago
To be honest, I know very little about Turkey. I know that is a largely secular state with a majority Muslim population and that it is actively seeking European Union membership. So when I heard that there was a Turkish cultural festival in Chicago, I was more than excited.
Spent an entire day absorbing the culture, the music, the dance and of course the food. Gulping would probably better describe my eating there. The bakhlavas, the boregis and the kebabs were yum, yum & yum. I am not so sure about the Turkish coffee though. It may look very tempting served in a cute little cup. Don't let the size of the cup fool you. Strong doesn't even begin to describe it. The lady selling the coffee was horrified to see me put about 10 spoons of sugar into mine :)
The Whirling Dervishes were the main attraction of the event. The Whirling Dervishes trace their origin to the 13th century Ottoman Empire. The Dervishes, also known as the Mevlevi Order, are Sufis. As I understood it, the whirling is a form of meditation. It represents a mystical spiritual journey. The dervishes whirl, raising one hand towards heaven and the other down towards earth.
On my way back, I couldn't help but add Turkey to my ever growing list of must-visit countries. May be some day, I will get a chance to visit. In the meantime, I need to read some more about Turkey.