About a thousand visitors came to Kyiv Islamic Cultural Centre on National Flag Day, August 23, in order to participate in Fest of Oriental Culture, and that became the first-ever experience of learning Islam and dealing with Kyiv Muslims for more than half of them.
The guests eagerly tasted traditional dishes of different Muslim countries and ethnicities, bought oriental sweets and coffee, and also silver jewelry, natural cosmetics, clothes and accessoires. They thanked the fest team and asked them to hold such events on a regular basis. Besides, they could attend an exhibition by Ms.Mila Cheseldine, a Crimean artist. Young Kyiv Muslims were the ones to make all that come true.
Everyone had a rich choice of souvenirs, silver and handmade jewelry and natural grooming products. Trying a new look was available as well. And, off course, the fest team couldn’t fail to present tasty food: traditional Crimean Tatar dishes, cuisine of South Africa, Middle East and Southern Asia were both available for consuming and take-away.
Many visitors eagerly participated in a quest where they had to check in at six locations, including Crimean Tatar bakery, Master-Classes, Exhibition Pavilion and little shops.
Bearded men took advantage of barber shop and beard stylist who not only styled their beards but also taught them some care tips.
At the same time, women had more options: there were free henna tattoos and free hijab styling (for those who wanted to try on the vail — many of the female guests liked their new look so much that they didn’t take it off even when leaving for home). Besides, they could purchase natural cosmetics, ethnic jewelry, headscarves, clothes, ceramics and embroidery.
It was they ladies who stayed the longest: the last henna pattern was drawn at about 8 am, while the festival ended four hours earlier, so long was the queue and so great was their patience.
Master Classes on Beard and Moustache care,on Oriental coffee and tea recipes, and two introductory lectures on Islam and Muslims made the event informative as well. The organizers made sure that the small visitors are entertained, too, and the children were literally fascinated by chemical experiments, and they watched the masters carefully.
Enchanting were the masterpieces by the Crimean artist Mila Cheseldine: image of contemporary singer Ms.Elvira Sarykhalil was clearly seen in the picture of Old Bakhchisaray; face of the public activist Ms.Tamila Tasheva was read in Eupathorian scenery, and head of Mr.Mustafa Dzhemilev, the Crimean Tatar leader, was crowned with the Fortress of Sudak.
The artist also presented her art-installation called “The Soul of Crimea”: fragments of ancient Qur’an (dated about 100 years ago) found during the reconstruction of Malorecenskoe mosque, ground and rocks from Mlorechenskoe, sand from Novy Svet (Sudak district), and stones from Solnechnogorskoe. Specifically, the composition depicted “the Soul of Crimea that can’t be taken away by anyone”, as the author said. Besides, the installation was enhanced with calligraphy plates where the arabic letters read the word “Sabr”, which is “patience”.