Our life consists of impressions. When we talk about the days we have lived, we recall all that has happened to us, what we have seen, felt, realized. Impressions are the quintessence of our life. The quality of life depends on quantity of its merry moments. More unforgettable events we have experienced, more interesting and valuable is our life, more we live.
That`s why, in this column I would like to share my life impressions with you, dear readers, to enrich with them your life, too. I am going to write about everything that gives us positive mood, inspires us and imbues with good energy – about gripping adventures, music concerts, festivals, amusing kindly movies, interesting books and tasty meals. Travelling across time and space, through the pages of these articles we will plunge into the realms of foreign countries, try to cognize their national mentality, explore history, culture, food. But to begin with, I would like to tell about impressions given by my Motherland – North Cyprus.
After all, it is quite not necessary to go to the world`s end when you want to gain new experience and enrich your being with impressions. Everything depends on your own attitude toward the life. Interesting things surround us – we just have to be open-minded. The opportunity to LIVE the life as it should be –happy, interesting, conscious, creative and full of impressions, - is given to human being everytime and everywhere, especially on the blessed island of Cyprus! For instance, on 7th and 8th of March the 5th Hizarkoy Orchid festival took place. It was organized by the Hizarkoy Culture and Sports Association and Lapta Municipality.
The festive program included two morning orchid walks, concerts on the stage of central Hisarkoy square, the sale of national handicrafts and local delicacies. Handmade products – such as the pottery goods - were created just in the guests` sight, as well as the meals of Cypriot cuisine – gözleme, boreks with hellim or «kıymalı», meaning with meat, kuzu and tavuk sis – grilled lamb and chicken. But the most unforgettable gastronomic impression of this day was, undoubtedly,şeftali kebab.
This extremely tasty meal was served with piquant vegetable and onion salad, splash of lemon juice, in a warm crispy pita, where the sizzling and mouth watering şeftali meat was hidden. On the central square the musicians took seats – important to note, that this time their musical performance was diverse and thus pleasant in particular. Not only did repertoire consist of traditional «canlı» music, but also foreign hits, sang in English with modern arrangement. Folk dances enriched the cultural program of the festival, too. The dancers were wearing national costumes, embroidered with golden threads, decorated with pastes and ornaments. Children frolicked in the playground, posing near big vivid orchid sculpture for the photos, taken by their parents, and socialized with the clown, who played tricks on the square. Adults after the pleasant shopping and nice rest had the chance to visit the exhibition of lighting sculptures by Peter Banks. He showed his works in the old primary school building just off the main square. The venue opened 2 years ago by Nicholas Bailey as a Studio for local Artists. With no doubt, the Orchid Festival presented us many precious moments of happiness these sunny days. About the symbol of the festival – marvelous orchids – we have read beforehand thanks to the book of SerkanIlseven. He is the author of scientific works about the nature of Cyprus, seminal artist and eminent political figure. As a sign of the friendship, SerkanBey presented our family his book: «Wild and planted trees of North Cyprus», where he tells about local flora clearly and in detail. (фотокниги).
Orchıde Ağacı, in turkish, Camel`s foot or Butterfly Tree, in English, the orchid tree is «an extremely showy broad-crowned tree growing to 7-8 m tall. The smooth-edged, roundish leaves are bluntly 2-lobed, or more precisely consist each of two leaves fused together so that the lip points in instead of out. The tree is native to India, whence it was probably brought to Cyprus by British colonialists. It is sensitive to extremes of cold and will not flourish in countries where the temperature falls below 7 C. The bark is used by dyers and the leaves and fruit can be cooked as a vegetable. The flowers, opening in March, resemble large butterflies….
The Camel`s Foot has been planted in parks and gardens almost everywhere in the island, and is a favourite subject in the Bellapais monastery grounds». Thanks to the Orchid festival taking place in Hisarkoy, we also got to know better this historic village. Hizarköy or Kambyli is situated on the southern slopes of the Five Finger mountains, only three kilometers from Çamlıbel or Myrtou. Even though Hisarkoy was a mixed village during the Ottoman period and co-inhabited by Maronites, it was exclusively populated by Turkish Cypriots after 1931. The history of this settlement numbers many hundreds of years and was even marked on a map of 1573 under the name Gambyli. Current Greek name of the village is almost the same. The Turkish name is probably also related to the history of this settlement.
In 1959 Turkish Cypriots named the village Hisarkoy, meaning castle village. Supposedly, a castle was built here in ancient times. However, the real history of an ancient settlement Hisarkoy, like of many other North Cyprus phenomena, is still under the veil of mystery. This enigmatic island is full of secrets and there are many mysteries the Humankind has to reveal on his way of exploring this sacral place….
So, discover the world around you, explore the unknown, and enrich your life with impressions, which we are going to share on the pages of articles – from this one forward. Let`s have a nice journey and all the best!