4 August 2007

whirlingdervishes_2aUNESCO declared 2007 as the Year of Rumi & Global Peace, and in commemoration of Rumi’s 800th anniversary of the birth of the famous Muslim Saint and Poet, Mevlana Jalal al-din Rumi, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey and the Office of Sydney Turkish Consul General in association with the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, held a spectacular evening with “RUMI Presentation and the Whirling Dervishes Sema Ceremony” at the historical Sydney Town Hall.

This event showcased the thoughts of Rumi and the ‘dance’ of the Whirling Dervishes from Konya Turkey.

Rumi spent his whole life dedicated to God Almighty and love for humanity. He did not only try to reach the Lord himself, but helped others to do the same. He was a traveler on this journey of love, describing this love as one that “did not leave anything of me, or on me.” He made his feelings and emotions be heard by others and inspired many different souls.Internationally renowned Sufi Whirling Dervishes with 28 professional artists, who are on a world tour, are traveling to many destinations and performing their art. Sydneysiders had the pleasure of witnessing this wonderful event on the 4th of August 2007.

whirlingdervishes_1aA capacity crowd of around 2,000 people packed in to the Sydney Town Hall to witness this peaceful and serene spectacle. Queues had extended from the Town Hall 100metres down George St showing the popularity of the Whirling Dervishes and Rumi in Sydney. The event was fully sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey and admission was free. Although advertising was minimal and done only 2 weeks prior to the event, the event was a sell out after only a few days and there were many disheartened people who couldn’t register their place on time.

Mehmet Saral, President of Affinity Intercultural Foundation, says at a time when Muslim-West relations need to be strengthened, UNESCO’s declaration of 2007 to be the “Year of Rumi” is certainly welcomed, as Rumi is loved by people of all backgrounds particularly in the West.