Bridging the Generational Gap
It is close to sunset. A father has just returned home from work.
At home, mother is quickly preparing the sherbet and the kids are talking about all the food they are about to eat.
At the azaan (call to prayer), the family rushes to the dinner table to share a meal before they retreat to their personal spaces to rest or pray. This is the scene of a typical fast-breaking meal at a Muslim family home.
However, families who visit Istanbul's historic Feshane International Fair Congress and Culture Center share an experience of togetherness. From dusk onwards, families flock to the annual month-long Feshane fair grounds to enjoy an atmosphere of lively folk music, shopping and festival fun.
Ramadan is the time of year when Muslims fast all day and then end their fast at sunset during what is called an "Iftar" call to prayer. At Feshane, families gather before the iftar time and break their fast once the azaan is recited.
Balancing both merriment and spirituality, the fair is recognized as one of the major Ramadan events in Istanbul. "We come here every year during Ramadan. There's also a spiritual feeling you get around here," says 38 year old, father of two, Ahmet Kuzey.
The fair at Feshane is a place where young and old can come together. Gamze Sivri, 21, is pleased to be a part of the celebration. She says, "I'm here with my family. We came together to share the joys of Ramadan as a family. We are very happy with the lovely night atmosphere."
Folk songs and live concerts are among the most popular attractions at Feshane. Sebahat Kuzey wife of Ahmet appreciates the music performers and spiritual tradition at the fair. She says, "We came to see the music groups perform while enjoying the spirituality of the place."
Unlike any other event in Istanbul, the fair serves as a fusion of older traditions and newer celebrations during the month of Ramadan.
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