On December 5th, 2019 over sixty embassies engaged in one of the largest cultural showcases of the year, the Winternational. Held in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center’s atrium, this event is an incredible opportunity for each country to display what makes them unique. This year Turkey was represented by the Yunus Emre Institute. A wide range of culturally significant items were displayed such as Turkish art, Turkish music, Turkish language textbooks, and delicious Turkish food. The Yunus Emre Institute could not be more proud to represent Turkey at an incredibly significant cultural event like Winternational and engage in cultural diplomacy on such a large scale.
Each country has the chance to display cultural heritage items, wear national dress, pass out samples of traditional foods and souvenirs. Winternational is one of the best events to experience the wide range of cultures in Washington in a single place. It is also an important opportunity for the international community to build friendships and spark future collaboration. Besides the general public, attendees include the ambassadors of the participating countries, policy-makers from think tanks and government institutions, and multinational executives.
The visitors’ trip to Turkey had begun once each person received a paper Turkish passport and then got a giriş (enter) stamp upon entry as if they were entering through Turkey’s border customs. They toured three tables with different aspects of Turkish culture on them. The first table taught people about the Yunus Emre Institute’s Turkish language program and shared information on the upcoming introductory A1.1 class starting in January. This table also featured information about TABIP, the STEM academic exchange program. Visitors received a bookmark with a quote from Yunus Emre and the institute’s motto, “Come let us all be friends for once.” At the second table guests had a chance to learn about travel in Turkey through a montage of some of Turkey’s most popular destinations. They also got the chance to listen to popular Turkish music. Visitors finished their trip to Turkey at the last table where they were able to sample simit and kadayıf, a baked Turkish bagel with sesame seeds and a pastry made with small crunchy noodles soaked in syrup. For refreshments guests enjoyed fresh Turkish coffee and tea, and savor Turkish delight.
Participants thoroughly enjoyed their tour of Turkey. More than a few expressed an interest in signing up for Yunus Emre’s language program. They thought that Turkish music was fun and many asked for the link to our playlist. They commented repeatedly on how Turkey is a beautiful country and how they hoped to go some day or return. The people who have visited Turkey said that Turkey was one of their favorite places to travel to and how much they look forward to returning one day. Turkish coffee and çay was another popular hit among guests as they learned about each drink’s cultural significance.
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 receiving more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.