[lg policy] A Romani Festival on the Streets of Istanbul

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 26 18:40:15 UTC 2011

A Romani Festival on the Streets of Istanbul

The Spring festival of Hidrellez, celebrated in Istanbul and
throughout the region during the first week of May, may be attributed
to the ancient prophets Ilyas and Hizir, but its rituals, venerating
fire and water, reach back to the roots of Anatolian civilization. In
Istanbul today, particularly in Romani districts, Hidrellez comes in
the form of a memorable street party.

On May 6, for the second consecutive year, an alternate Hidrellez
festival will be held on the Bosphorus-side, Romani neighborhood of
Cayırbasi by organizers 9/8 Roman Platform and the Sariyer
Municipality. Free of charge and open to the public, this is an
ambitious event in a hardscrabble community. Local residents, with
their humble streets as a stage, are both the hosts and the guests of
this living tradition.

Starting at 1 pm, there will be a photo exhibition examining the
Cayırbasi community, along with other cultural activities throughout
the afternoon. Well-known Romani musicians will take the stage around
7:30 pm. Concerts officially end at midnight but the party will likely
continue well into the morning behind the stage in the alleyways of
the neighborhood.


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