Friendship, love, peace and harmony were only what permeated the atmosphere as friends embraced different cultural beliefs and customs, during the Coffee Night hosted by Turquoise Harmony Institute on 24 February, Wednesday night in Sandton.

The coffee-themed motion, was an activity for friends to have dialogues to ultimately create the desired love, peace and harmony for all humanity. And how the tradition of offering coffee extends friendships desired for all humanity to coexist, and be able exchange different cultures, values and customs.

Director of Women Forum in Turquoise Harmony Institute, Aysegul Erguil, shared with guests on how friendships can be made by merely offering a cup of coffee, and how it goes a long way to foster good relations among different nations, also explaining on how offering coffee signifies certain meanings in Turkish culture.

“What the heart truly desires is friendships, and coffee is just an excuse. This is also a way to    come together for a family and even loved ones, and after dinner you have the company to have Turkish coffee with the whole family. However, this is not for children.

Coffee is also served in four different ways; plain and no sugar, little sugar, medium level sugar, or ultra-candy. So, if you had four different guests, and if they wanted their coffees served differently, you would have to make them separately,” she said.

In Turkish culture, it is believed that when one offers a person Turkish cup of coffee, it is believed that it marks the beginning of forty years of friendship. Erguil further jokingly added that in Turkish culture, if a person offers someone a cup of coffee, they will have them under a spell for forty years.

Others who hail from different cultural backgrounds also shared with guests what traditional customs form part of their heritage, which are similarly used to bring together people closer by promoting friendships embracing love, peace and harmony.

“In my culture, the Xhosa Sampen beans, Dumpling and Tribe are catered to guests, we use that to welcome everyone. We also use these foods, to comfort each other. The community grows closer by having this tradition, and in many cases turns to be a big gathering and this is a way in which we extend friendships,” Zolisa Gigaba said.

Najma Khota, who was one of the speakers during the Coffee Night also shared with guests on her Indian traditions and customs found in the heritage. And lecturing on the importance of acknowledging and embracing different cultural values and beliefs as a way of bringing different communities closer.

The evening presented an opportunity for friends to share some of their valued traditional customs, and have left many awestruck when other guests dished out revelling accounts about the diversities possessed by their cultures.