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Beyond Political Divides: Sharing A Turkish Buffet in the midst of a Swiss Protest

Photo by Fatma for

I recently had a memorable experience in Zurich while exploring the city with one of my friends. We started to discover the city from the early hours of the morning and after a while we searched for a suitable place to eat. I took a long time for us to find a proper place suitable for our diet. Finally, we came across a small buffet restaurant with a HALAL sign outside, and decided to try it out. The menu was just as the way we want it so we ordered the food and then chose our table.

Photo by Fatma for

Halal Buffet photo credit by Fatma Olur

As we were enjoying our very traditional Turkish food and chatting with the friendly owner who is from Sivas, we suddenly heard a commotion outside. It turned out that there was a protest happening in the famous square the buffet located also. Although we were hesitant to get too close, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask a few questions as a journalist at heart. I just found out that it was a protest about keep Switzerland local.

Despite the tense situation we go on trying the delicious Turkish cuisine. Surprisingly, a few minutes later we witnessed a protester shopping at the very same buffet restaurant. It was ironic that although the protest was about the importance of Switzerland staying local, a protester still came out to enjoy a different country’s local food with us. This unexpected encounter reminded that us even in the midst of political turmoil, food can bring people together and bridge cultural divides.

As we finished our meal and left the buffet, we couldn’t help but talk about that paradoxical situation. The protester’s actions showed that even passionate political beliefs can find common ground through the simple pleasures of life, such as food. We left the protest feeling humbled by the power of food to unite people from different backgrounds, and grateful for the unique and unexpected experiences that travel can bring.

You can’t resist food! photo credit by Fatma Olur

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3 Responses

  1. I love the experience and the way you bring to us. Crazy, isn’t it? I’m glad how food can connect people and different cultures. Nice article, Fatima!

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