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Whither Seasons in our Fast Food Lives: Reflections on Islamic ritual memory and the season’s first fruits in Turkey

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 4:00pm

McKenzie Hall, Room 125

In the springs and summers of the 1970s, as the season’s first fruits entered the home, my maternal grandmother would break her composure, hold up the fruit, say a few words, and burst out in a fake laugh before she tasted the fruit. We were told it was to bring abundance and happiness in the year ahead and the anticipation of such good fortune lifted our spirits. Memories of these rituals practice can be found in narrative entries in a number of online platforms.

This presentation, led by Professor Meltem Turkoz, Isik University in Istanbul, will examine entries from blogs and hypertext dictionaries and unpack memories and discussions about this ritual to examine the role of food practices as a vehicle for nostalgia, and on the historical meanings of laughter as a generative act.

The Internet is a primary vehicle for narrative accounts of early fruit practices as experienced personally or in families. Postings of these accounts are scattered across a range of sites, mostly as direct childhood memories, or descriptions by a generation once removed. These are found among food bloggers and as entries in the collaborative hypertext dictionaries like ekşisözluk , or other similar platforms. Islamic sites, meanwhile, reproduce information, based on the Hadith about the Prophet Muhammad’s food and nutrition practices, among them the sharing early dates with children.

In many of the narrative memories, nostalgia is felt for the anticipation of the fruit rather than the taste of the fruit itself, and also for a proper way in which precious food such as early fruit should be shared within the family or with outsiders.

This event is co-sponsored by Gaston, and UO's Food Studies, and Folklore Program.

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations, Presentation


Division of Global Engagement, Global Studies Institute

Target Audience

All Students, Faculty/Staff



Muslim Student Association

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