Do we understand the food without the culture behind it?
Turkish women were invited to come to the Rietveld Academy to hold a Turkish Ravioli making event. The event was meant to bring the Turkish women out of their domestic practice (the ritual of traditional manti making) into a public space, in order to shed light onto a ritual hidden behind walls.
Ayse and Nezahat both live in West. Ayse has been living here more than 25 years, yet she still does not understand nor speak much Dutch. Nezahat grew up in Netherlands, she speaks Turkish, Dutch and a bit of English.
The two women prepare and make turkish ravioli together with people with different cultural backgrounds who participated in the event. Both women are leaders of the event because of their knowledge behind "Manti" making; they talk about manti and teach others how to make.
Observations include turkish women asking guests to wash their hands, take off their shoes, offering them tea to drink.
Manti is a traditional turkish dish with many preparations behind, a social event between Turkish women who come together once and then to make manti all day long. Its a domesticated practise. Men are not allowed to be part because of religious purposes of men and women not being allowed to stay in the same place when women comfortably make ravioli without their headcovers.
They understand the dough, texture and the elasticity to be able to open it in a big thin flat sheet. The way their hands work is very hypnotic as well as difficult to understand without having a grasp of making.
Bread is seen something sacred in Turkish culture; everything made from flour is not to be thrown away, not spread on the floor to be stepped on, and not even let it run through the sink. Flour is not something to play with, its only to eat; and to waste is considered "haram" - a sin.