Turkish Women’s Day Gig

I played at this event on Sunday with Paula & Serpil from The Country & Eastern Band. The event was organised by Daymer to celebrate International Women’s Day. Daymer is a non-profit making organisation and registered charity that supports Turkish and Kurdish people living and working in London.

The gig took place at Londra Toplum Merkezi, a Turkish and Kurdish community centre in Tottenham. It’s a great venue with a  big, modern hall downstairs and lots of smaller rooms upstairs where various schools and classes take place, including languages, music, art and folk dancing. There were lots of little girls wandering around with sazes on their backs.

There is also a lovely Turkish cafe next door where they ply you with çay (Turkish tea) and feed you too. I ate an enormous kasarli pide. Serpil didn’t eat all of her lahmacun so I jokingly told her she wouldn’t get hairs on her chest, an old English saying. One of the Turkish women we were sitting with then told me that in Turkey, whatever food is left on your plate defines how many babies you will have. Good job I ate all mine.

There were performances throughout the afternoon, including music, dance and poetry as well as films being shown. We went on last to a packed hall.

One of the nice things about playing to a Turkish audience is they know all the words to the songs (most of what we play are old Turkish or Kurdish folk songs), so they all sing along. When we played Aya Bak, lots of people got up and the folk dancing began.

If you’re interested, you can see a copy of the set list here.

The hall was decorated with hangings of Turkish women and political slogans. Here are some of the photos I took:

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