Luncheon Forum with City Controller Ronald C. Green

Luncheon Forum with City Controller Ronald C. Green

Luncheon Forum with City Controller Ronald C. Green

Istanbul 2010 - European Capital of Culture

Istanbul 2010 - European Capital of Culture

Istanbul 2010 - European Capital of Culture

Opening Ceremony, TurkicFest 2009, Houston

Helicopter View, TurkicFest 2009, Houston

Playground, TurkicFest 2009, Houston

Ottoman Military Band, TurkicFest 2009, Houston

Audience, TurkicFest 2009, Houston

Water Marbling, TurkicFest 2009, Houston

Downtown, Houston

Houston Rockets

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Nasa Johnson Space Center, Houston

Houston Texans

Eminonu, Istanbul

Ortakoy Mosque, Istanbul

Houstonians loved the TurkicFest 2009!

“I wouldn’t get to see, watch and taste this much all in one day, even if I visited Turkey. The festival was so educational, entertaining and delicious, for me, my husband, and my kids…” 
An attendee of Turkic Fest 2009 
 
Houston-Istanbul sister city association and Raindrop Turkish House  have organized the annual Turkic Cultures and Children’s Festival on November 7th and 8th at Hermann Square, in front of Houston City Hall, to celebrate the rich heritage of such Turkic sister nations as Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Bosnia and Ahiskan Turks. Cherokee nation has also been part of this fabulous atmosphere. The Turkic Fest invited Greece and Pakistan as guest countries of this year which added lively color to the festival.  
 
Houston-Istanbul sister city association and Raindrop presented an authentic Turkic weekend which pleased the whole family’s eyes, ears and palates.  This year, the festival drew around 25,000 participants of all ages. Among the festival’s distinguished guests were Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Houston mayoral race contender Gene Locke, Houston’s First Lady Andrea White and Consul General of Turkey, Akil Öktem.   

 
The festival is organized to display all aspects of the Turkic cultures and to revive artistic and cultural traditions, hence contributing to Houston’s celebration of its multicultural heritage. Moreover, the Turkic Fest is another way of celebrating and building upon universal human values shared by the Turkic and American peoples. The festival emphasizes what we have in common by fostering public appreciation and honoring of our differences as well as collaboration on mutually beneficial projects. 

 
The highlight of the festival was the parade of the Ottoman Military Band, which is the oldest one of its kind in history. Families, who attended this fantastic weekend event, had an opportunity to have their portraits taken in historical costumes in the exotic traditional Ottoman Tent, visit the Rumi tent, listen to Sufi music and authentic Turkic music, view a model of Blue Mosque and watch memorable live performances of Turkic singers, musicians, and folk dancers. More than50 art displays included Ebru - the art of water marbling, calligraphy, illuminations, hand-made ceramics and pottery, gilding, oriental rugs, throws, bags, decorative pillows, traditional jewelry, and handicrafts. Ladies attended an authentic henna night ceremony.

 
The festival’s food stands included the tastes and flavors of rich Turkic cuisine as well as gourmet food from local Turkic restaurants, including kabobs, doner sandwiches, vegetable and meat dishes, desserts, Turkish delight, apricots, hazelnuts, ice cream, figs, and famous culinary delights, such as Turkish coffee and baklava. 
 
Kids enjoyed the Shadow Theater, puppet show, clowns, storytelling, coloring, face painting, games, contests, swings, slides, ponies, another fun activities, as well as special treats like waffles, ice-cream, popcorn, and cotton candy. 
 
The Turkic Fest has been made possible by the contributions of volunteers and sponsors from the Turkic-American community and by support of local organizations, including the City of Houston, the Houston Chronicle and Houston Aquarium. 

Raindrop Turkish House is a non-profit organization providing educational, social, cultural and charitable services.  Founded by Turkish-Americans in Houston in 2000, it now has branches in six states. The mission of Raindrop is to introduce Turkish culture to American society, to cultivate intercultural friendship, and to promote intercultural understanding through dialog, cooperation, and its unique services to the community.