The Olive Festival in Kyrenia is the last one in a row of many village and traditional festivals. During the festive days local olive growers wet their lust and appetite for the harvesting, eating and drinking, discuss weather conditions, wait and hope for some good rain to fall before they start to pick the olives and rush with them to the mills; they say, that because of the contents of acidity, the olives should reach the mill within two days maximum.
The green olives have already come down for preserving and pickling as I could see on many stands in the Belediye Square in Zeytinlik where the festivities take place.
Dancing legs and shuffling feet on the stage in the village centre, folk dances shown by the very young ones, perfectly done, folk dances by all age groups, and by the invited groups from Hungary and The Netherlands with their wooden clogs, and one evening the Line Dancers with their exciting rhythmic leg work. Kyrenia in a swinging mood, with the hits of the decade: the salsa and the tango, couples dancing complicated figures while on the stands around meat is grilled and the smoke gets in your eyes.
Another highlight was the Italian Silence Theater with their sketch “Like Angels from Heaven”. People were most thrilled by their performance.
Next to the children’s stand I was welcomed by Ali Nesim signing his new book in Turkish and English “Templos – Social Life and Culture of Zeytinlik” in which he has included many photos of the area and my review I once wrote on another Zeytinlik book. He is a true Man from Templos and under this title I interviewed him in 2005. (See separate article in my website).
In the big art exhibition tent I finally saw this year’s International Cartoon Contest first three prizes plus the special prizes with very good results worthwhile studying. It was organized by the North Cyprus Cartoon Association with Musa Kayra, the Association’s President present who has also exhibited some very beautiful photos. He gave me the new cartoon album with the results of last year’s contest. A very nice book. (see separate article in my website).The books can be obtained at local bookstores.
There were some good paintings exhibited on the traditional way of picking olives. But finally, what really was welcome and appreciated by both young and old, was a Turkish artist, a sculptor by the name of Ekin Erman from Izmir who not only worked with children of all ages on a long table forming clay figures and forms with their hands, but had – in a separate tent – an exhibition of his own, a musical exhibition he called “980 Degrees” with about twenty ceramic flower pots hanging upside down and guests were invited to use a drum stick to make music with it and every pot gave off a different tone. (see separate article in my website).
In the meantime the summer is definitely over, the air gets thinner, the sky colours more pink in the mornings and purple in the evenings and thus the change of season is welcomed by this festival and the many dances that go with it.
“Many thanks to Heidi for the article. You can keep up with all Heidi’s latest adventures living in Northern Cyprus on her website www.heiditrautmann.com“
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