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Smashing enthusiasm at the Brussels Cultural Days

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The Brussels Cultural Days that took place from the 9th to the 11th May had a great success and people from all regions of Belgium attended. Many artists and politicians were present at the much-awaited programme.

Thursday, 9th of May

The Brussels Cultural days started off with a seminar by journalist and author Hilmi Yavuz, titled ‘Civilization, Identity and Culture’. Yavuz elaborated on the issue of identity and tried to form an answer to the question of ‘Should one take an independent perspective when studying identities?’. The author added that the traditional qualities of a society can never entirely disappear and that the Turkish society is both a modern and a traditional society. Moreover, Yavuz stated that one’s sensitivities should not be prior to one’s understanding and mind and that these sensitivities should be shaped into an esthetic perception. After the question and answer session the seminar ended by a signature session.

In the afternoon the stage welcomed the students of the Lucerna Dance Academy and the members of the Walloon folkdance group Djoyeûs Potcheûs for a huge folkloric spectacle.

The second seminar of the day was held by theatre actor Kenan Işık who talked about the influence of imperialism on culture. At the end of the interactive seminar Işık performed one of his poems.

The first day of the Brussels Cultural Days was finalized by a concert of the Belgian pop-folk group Polk. The founder of the group, Yves Barbieux participated in the Eurovision Song Festival of 2003 with Urban Trad, who came in second after Turkey’s Every Way That I Can. Folk performed well-known songs in their own unique folk style, even a song by Turkish pop-singer Tarkan was covered by them.

In addition to the numerous cultural activities, specialties of the Turkish and Belgian cuisine were presented to the visitors. The Friendship Tent of Beltud offered a cozy place where visitors could enjoy Belgian and Turkish delicacies in company of live music. Even the youngest could enjoy themselves by a various range of activities such as pony riding, carousel, theatre, dancing, etc. The

Friday, 10th of May

The second day of the Culture Festival in Brussels was also a big success. In the new theatre room of Ecole des Etoiles, the Turkish puppet-show Karagöz- Hacivat was performed in French on Thursday and in Turkish on Friday. After the show, the visitors were able to watch folk dance groups present dances from several regions of Turkey.

Next, the multi-talented and multicultural BX Stand-Up Comedy Club put on a hilarious stand-up show in the theatre room of Ecole des Etoiles. After leaving the room with a smile on their face the visitors were welcomed in the gallery for hand art. At the stands of the art gallery artists presented their crafts, which consisted of kilim weaving, lace knitting, Belgian an Turkish ceramics, glass decoration and glassblowing, calligraphy and the making of the qanun instrument.

An event like the Brussels Cultural Days cannot do without the visit of prominent figures. The organizers were pleased to welcome Senator Fatiha Saidi, Federal MP Zoe Genot, Brussels MPs Ahmet Mouhssin and Mahinur Ozdemir, Mayor of Saint-Josse Emir Kir, Alderman for Culture of Schaarbeek Sadik Koksal, Consul-General of Turkey Ali Baris Ulusoy and Director of the Police Force Polbruno Theo van Gasse.

The big closure of the evening was a concert by the queen of nostalgia Muazzez Ersoy, which was attended by people from all over Belgium. Ersoy talked about the importance of education in between her songs and congratulated Ecole des Etoiles for its efforts and success.



Saturday, 11th of May

The third day of the Brussels Cultural Days started off with a show for children by Mamemo. The group performed several songs, danced and played short sketches that were applauded both by children and adults. Afterwards, the forum was shaken up by folk dances of the Black Sea Region and Caucasia first and by Belgian folklore later.

In the afternoon, entertainment made place for a literary seminar by professor and author Nazan Bekiroğlu. She started her the seminar by the East’s mentality and perception of art. The professor continued her talk by comparing the perception of art in the West to the perception of art in the Islamic world. Then, Bekiroğlu explained that during the Renaissance paintings and sculptures were appreciated as long as they resembled the original object that was imitated. While in Islamic art the artist deliberately steps back from mimicking the original object. After Bekiroğlu’s delightful talk, a question and answer session was held, that was finalized by a signature session.

At 20h00 a concert by rock star Kıraç took place, attended by thousands of fans despite the bad weather. Kıraç stayed on stage for two hours during which each song of his was sang along with his fans. At the end of the concert Kıraç left the stage under loud cheering and applauding. The visitors and the volunteers who helped the organization finally spend late hours in the Friendship Tent to close up an enjoyable evening.
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