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Yunus Emre Institute Shares Turkish Culture With Washington D.C. At The Annual Turkish Festival

Thousands Of Guests Visited The Yunus Emre Institute’s Booth At The Wharf

Washington D.C. - On October 3rd, The Yunus Emre Institute hosted a booth at the Turkish Festival on The Wharf. The event drew in several thousand guests to have a hands-on experience with Turkish culture including live dance performances, food vendors, music, and much more. The Yunus Emre Institute represented Turkish culture by welcoming guests with a stamped passport, a gift bag of souvenirs, information about language classes, and their option of fresh Turkish tea or coffee.

Thousands of guests gathered at The Wharf on a picturesque Sunday afternoon to celebrate all aspects of Turkish culture, which the Yunus Emre Institute was more than happy to engage with. This year, the Turkish festival had a special theme, which was the Aegean region of Turkey. The festival spanned the entire length of The Wharf with musical concerts and the delicious aroma of hot Turkish food permeating the air. Three stages hosted various dance performances like the Bilecik Spoon Dance, a Zeybek dance, and even a whirling dervish show.

The Yunus Emre Institute’s booth was located on the District Pier Stage, which was the main stage of the festival. As guests poured in, the Yunus Emre Institute was ready to welcome them on their trip to Turkey with a Turkish passport card and then a “Giriş” (enter) stamp upon entry as if they were entering through Turkey’s border customs. They were also welcomed with a complimentary gift bag that included two books, a “Merhaba” sticker, and a calligraphy card. Hospitality is a critically important piece of Turkish culture, which guests were able to experience immediately after being welcomed to the booth. After getting their entry stamp and gift bag, each guest was able to immerse themselves in Turkish culture and language with the Yunus Emre Institute. Guests learned about the importance of the Turkish language in engaging with Turkish people and their cultural values. Several guests enthusiastically signed up for the Fall semester of language classes, bought children’s Turkish language textbooks, and basic Turkish speaking guides.

After getting their passport cards stamped at the entrance, guests were able to taste the one-of-a-kind charm of Turkey. They lined up for the immensely popular tea and coffee table in droves to get a taste of authentic Turkish coffee, known as kahve, and tea, known as çay. Once they received their cups of coffee and tea, many guests had questions for the Yunus Emre Institute staff about what kind of events and programs that the institute hosts. Numerous guests were enthusiastic about more cultural events in the future like concerts, art exhibitions, cooking lessons, and the institute’s hallmark Turkish Coffee Happy Hour program. After drinking their hot cups of tea and coffee, guests had their passports stamped with a “Çıkış” (exit) stamp to denote that they had completed a full cultural trip to Turkey.

Yunus Emre Institute is a Turkish cultural center located in Washington, D.C. and around the world. The institute hosts events and programs that educate the public about Turkey’s culture, history, and language. For more information about the institute’s mission or online programs, please email or follow @yeewdc on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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