I grew up in a southeast asian melting pot of different races, religions and cultures.
Singapore, where I spent 25 years of my life from birth till my mid-twenties, is a small island filled with people from all imaginable lands.
A cosmopolitan city at heart, Singapore made it a policy for inter-racial and inter-religious tolerance, and since I was a little girl, I’ve been exposed to a large variety of cultures, races and people from all walks of life.
Naturally, what I love most about being in Washington, DC, is this.
It has a colorful and interesting mix of humans from every country you could think of, with more cultures than you can count.
There are festivals almost every week in DC celebrating a particular culture or country.
Two weeks ago, there was Fiesta DC (a festival highlighting the Latin culture and food), and just this past weekend, Juan and I decided to check out the annual Turkish Festival which was held along Pennsylvania Avenue between the streets 12th and 14th.
From half a block away, we could smell the aromas of meats being roasted, and as our feet anxiously drew us nearer the tents, we took long, deep breaths, allowing the fragrance of kebabs and shawarma to tease our nostrils.
I’ve an incredibly big weakness for fairs like this – where people gather together in celebration of ethnic food, music and culture.
But more than anything, I’m just a huge fan of the food.
I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t know the names of much of the Turkish dishes, but they all looked so darn good.
So you can imagine me with my camera, going up to each stall, pushing through the long queues snaking around to peek at the fare on offer.
I mostly snapped pictures of the chefs in action; or store attendants doing their thing.
There’s something about capturing the essence of their craft that makes my heart skip a beat and then do a little dance.
Somewhere along the way, I got tempted, and grabbed a doner kebab to pump up on much needed energy – the fair was making me crazy hungry.
Poor Juan couldn’t eat anything because everything probably had gluten, and since he kept telling me not to miss out on the food, I gladly did myself a favor.
So here I am, the first photo of myself since we stepped foot onto DC, and I’m stuffing my face with food.
So predictable, isn’t it?
And then, as with any Turkish festival, there were also crafts, lamps, carpets, accessories, and scarves for sale.
Vibrant colors, beautiful fabrics and cute ornaments.
It was all gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.
I loved watching the Turks selling their wares, their arms flying in all directions; smiles wide on their faces (most of the time).
Selling is an art I’m still trying to learn..
We even got treated to the sight of some Turks dressed up in costumes…
Is it just me, or do you get excited seeing things like that too?
So that’s it.
The Turkish festival tour has now ended….but stay tuned for more cultural event highlights in DC on the blog!