On November 21st, 2019 the Yunus Emre Institute welcomed almost two dozen Turkish language class students and their guests to gather together and celebrate Thanksgiving and Teachers’ Appreciation Day the Turkish way. Students from both the A1.1 and A1.2 classes mingled together over food that the hoca, or teacher, prepared for his students. It was a wonderful night where students were able to share their perspectives on their Turkish language experiences. To conclude the dinner, the students and employees gave the hoca a gift to express their gratitude on Teachers’ Appreciation Day for all of his hard work.
A delicious spread of Turkish food was laid out on the kitchen table of the Yunus Emre Institute which featured everything from sini kebabı to yogurtlama. After a few opening remarks were made by the staff to welcome everyone, the hoca announced “Afiyet Olsun!” as his way of letting everyone know it was time to dig in. All around the room students discussed the trials and tribulations of learning Turkish and just how rewarding it is to be able to speak Turkish with a native speaker. They also discussed their collective desire to visit Turkey either for the first time or to return to its beauty once again. Some thoughts were shared and even more laughs were had over the hoca’s fresh zerzevat, a mix of lightly seasoned vegetables.
The Yunus Emre Institute’s hoca, Huseyin Aydin, comes from the city of Antakya in South East Turkey, which is home to a rich history of culinary tradition. According to UNESCO, there are over four hundred different recipes of Antakya cuisine and at least two hundred of them were originally created in Antakya. They have seasonal dishes with locally sourced ingredients that creates a harmony of flavors like karniyarik, which are eggplants stuffed with ground meat and spices. This event was so much more than a pleasant get together though, it was a meeting to express gratitude towards the hoca. Once everyone was full, Harper and Matt, the Yunus Emre Institute’s Public Relations assistants, gave a short speech about how much of a positive impact the hoca had on each of his students. The hoca was handed a gift, that was given by his students and the Yunus Emre Institute, as a fitting end to Teachers’ Appreciation Day and the Thanksgiving party.
The Yunus Emre Foundation is a public foundation formed to promote Turkey, Turkish language, its history and culture and art, make such related information and documents available for use in the world, provide services abroad to people who want to have education in the fields of Turkish language, culture and art, to improve the friendship between Turkey and other countries and increase the cultural exchange. If you are interested in learning more about events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @yeewdc on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.