LCFF is honored to share Ms. Furtuna Tekle’s story as part of our goal of bringing the stories of the people who live, work and play in Lake City to Enjoylakecity.org. Furtuna is an inspiration to us all.
“Awklenan! Yakiel, Yakiel!” “ Dictator! Enough is Enough!” I was the only young woman on the sidewalk, but my voice was strong. The few other women were my mother’s age. All the men were old, including my father. Yet we were giving our voices to the people walking and driving by. The American passersby responded, “We are with you!” Our confidence and pride grew, blunting the scornful laughter and threats of my fellow Eritrean classmates passing by and through the festival gate. This was my first protest. My first freedom of expression. Seattle leaders had allowed Eritrean government officials to present a festival in my new city, my new home. But the festival was not a true reflection of Eritrean society. It was a lie dressed in the beautiful fabric of my Habesha culture. A lie masked by the delicious aromas of Injera and steaming clay pots of Doro Wat in festival booths. A festival hiding a dictatorship that ripped my family from our mother country.
November 18th brought the first “World Dance Party” to NE Seattle and it was not to be missed. The evening was an incredible night of sharing culture with each other through food, art and dance. Six scheduled dance instructions kept the night zipping along kicking off with none other than the “Chicken Dance”. As the evening progressed another set of impromptu dances came from attendants eager to share their cultural expression including a Turkish Folk Dance and some traditional Somali Dancing.
Everyone enjoyed a fantastic feast made up of potluck dishes brought by attendants, donations from the Kaffeeklatsch and Mo and Lu Pasta and wonderful offerings from Stephen with the Hunger intervention program and the staff of the North Seattle Family Resource Center. In addition, participants were asked to fill out a leaf and attach it to the “You Are Welcome Here” tree identifying where people had come from. The Lake City Youth Leadership Program helped with set up and take down and also offered up a cool mask decorating station.
LCFF was honored to take part in the event that was made possible through the Seattle Parks District’s “Recreation 4 All” initiative. Resources were available for individuals and families through several groups including the Office of Civil Rights and the ORCA card program. Partnering on the evening were the Children’s Home Society of Washington, Lake City Seniors, Lake City Branch of the Seattle Public Library, Hunger Intervention Program, LCFF, Seattle Parks and Department of Neighborhoods. Continue reading “World Dance Party in NE Seattle”→