Immediately following the camping trip with the BCM and ACC, I made a trip to Oklahoma City for the Turkish Food and Art Festival hosted by the Raindrop Foundation.
Turkish food on its own is a cause for celebration. I ate some mantı, meat-filled dumplings reminiscent of ravioli and served with yogurt, dried mint, and red pepper. I also sampled gözleme, a thin pastry filled with cheese and spinach, and then grape leaves stuffed with rice, and some çay (black tea). There were also kebabs, köfte (meatballs), and Turk kahvesi (traditional Turkish coffee, which is rich, dark, and delightful and surprises the drinker when she gets to the bottom of the cup and encounters a layer of fine grounds half an inch deep).
On the stage, whirling dervishes whirled, dancers called on audience members to join them, and the MC awarded recognition to children who could correctly answer a question about the Turkish flag. My favorite art-related station the festival offered was the booth with Ebru, or water marbling. Watching an artist paint delicate swirls and flowers with a fine brush on the surface of the water is mesmerizing. I have seen Ebru artwork before, but never the intricate process behind it.
The Raindrop Turkish House in Oklahoma City offers a variety of classes in Ebru, cooking, and Turkish language. Next semester, I’m planning to brush up on my Turkish by taking one of the language classes! I’m glad I discovered the Raindrop House and the classes because of this festival.
It’s been several weeks since the festival, but I’m still thankful to the Raindrop House for hosting it and sharing so much beautiful art, wonderful food, and Turkish culture with Oklahoma City. I’m already looking forward to next year. Until then, I’m going to have to keep eating yogurt on my pasta and pretending it’s mantı.