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   CELEBRATING ETHNICITY: TURKISH AMERICANS

Turkish Americans


The three-day Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival held in Irvine, California, is a lavish spectacle. While the Turkish American community in the region is relatively small in comparison to the other Middle Eastern American groups, the celebration attracts large crowds from throughout southern California. Some are connected to Turkey and Anatolia by birth and heritage, but others are interested in the region’s history and diverse cultural and religious traditions and practices such as Sufism. Grand scale manufactured sets and display facades serve as the backdrops of this festival where organizers stage folkdance performances, traditional and popular music and arts and crafts. Certainly, festival and food go together. Here, the cuisine of Anatolia boasts ample dishes and diverse regional specialties. Visual references to Kemal Ataturk, founder and father of the Republic of Turkey, are prominently displayed along the paths and gates that lead and guide festival goers to the various venues and attractions

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