By Serpil Kadilar……
The renowned Eco village, Buyukkonuk, did not disappoint as it held its 20th festival on Sunday the 8th of October. A rainbow of colors greeted all those who entered the village to take part in the jubilant celebrations while indulging in traditional food, or shopping for ornaments, trinkets and jewellery, intricately made by those who’d set up their stalls. The detail that had gone into these pieces which were truly stunning- and the jewellery on offer seemed to get better and better, from one stall to the next.
One couldn’t possibly imagine the amount of work it would have taken to create the small furniture, or the woven trays and baskets, the jewelry as mentioned before, and the large variety of goods on sale which were all handmade, using strictly natural and repurposed material.
The tempting smells of Grilled meats (Shish) perfumed the air. The mouth watering Cypriot Pastries like Hellim or Kiymali (mince meat) Boreks proved to be a common choice. The old school favorite Pilavuna (Cheese and current stuffed bread- like pastry, often seasoned with hash seeds and mint), an acquired taste, still appreciated by the young and old today. The village bread, baked in stone ovens, the Bulgur Kofte (Mince meat with onion and parsley, wrapped in Bulgar wheat), and freshly made to order Gozleme- a pancake with your personal choice of fillings, whether potato, mince or a range of cheeses- or all three!
Surely, it would have defied tradition if there hadn’t been a giant ‘Bohurdanlik’- where dried olive leaves were burned, the scent of which was unavoidable, which immediately brought me back to my childhood, where a family elder would burn a few olive leaves and insist that we breath in the scent three times in order to ward off the ‘evil eye’- a superstition which is still prominent in Turkish, Greek and Italian culture.
As the music played from the live band, and the people danced, I noticed how much people from all backgrounds were thoroughly enjoying the atmosphere of the day- Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, German, African, English and Israeli tourists and their families- Truly a beautiful coming together of people. And even the sudden downpour of rain did not deter the majority, who chose to simply take shelter beneath the roofed areas of the village until the storm had passed and the music began again.
If you haven’t yet been to the Eco festival, GO! You will not be disappointed!
Congratulations to the Buyukkonuk Belediye and all those who contributed to a wonderful and successful day.