August 27, 2019

Muslim Heritage Festival

 This past weekend we were lucky to attend the Muslim Heritage Festival. The even was set to raise money for the many refugees that have moved into the area. In collaboration with the NGOs that support refugees and the Muslim Heritage Society, they took time to honor the many cultures around that world that are influenced by Islam.

We were able to meet people from India, Pakistan, China, Uzbekistan, many African countries, Iran, Iraq, and, of course, Turkey. Lucky Dragon was fascinated with their stories and displays. He asked several questions and wanted to be involved in all of the activities.

We were able to watch a world famous calligrapher do a presentation on the importance of calligraphy in Chinese and Muslim cultures. The fluid motions of his hands and the beauty of his words were spectacular.

In the courtyard they had several food trucks with ethnic food--all of them Halal of course. The delicious aromas were tantalizing!

They also had several children's art activities. Lucky Dragon painted his own nazar boncugu (evil eye). They are common in Mediterranean cultures to ward off evil. Traditionally they are blue and white. He also created his own stained glass mural with colorful sand to represent the stained glass mosques in Pakistan. He used shapes to design his own mosque, and made his own necklace. He was full of questions.

 One of the activities we thought was the coolest, was Turkish erdu paper art. They use a plant based gelatin solution and plant based paint. The artist sprinkles the paint on the gel and after places a paper on top. The color is transferred to the paper leaving the gelatin clear and ready for the next piece.

 He was so proud that they gave him his "name in Arabic" for the back of his art

Koala Bear wanted to swing for most of the time, then she chose a 'doggy' to bring home with her. She of course only wanted to do the craft that included brightly colored ribbons! She has recently discovered that the small pool donuts fit perfectly around her waste. She will put them on and proclaim she is wearing her "pretty dress." She wears them all day! They actually look quite fashionable.

Lady Hiva had her first experience with henna done by a refugee from Lybia. This mother uses her talent in henna to provide for her family. Watching her work was memorizing, she makes it look so easy.

It was a special day. Brought back several memories of living in Turkey and how warm, welcoming and loving the culture is. This is especially true of the way they treat children. I am glad that we had the chance to go. I am happy for experiences like this to help our children learn to love and appreciate diversity.