The Yunus Emre Institute in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Turkish Consulate in Boston, Massachusetts, continued its mission of cultural diplomacy by holding a Hacivat Karagoz puppet show at the Boston Latin School on Monday, April 9. The performance served to introduce a piece of Turkish culture to the students.
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the Boston Latin School is the first, and oldest, public school in the United States. Established on April 23, 1635, it predates Harvard University. The school serves children from 7th-12th grade, and their curriculum has an emphasis on Greek philosophy.
The Hacivat Karagoz program was put on for 90 students from the school’s 10th-grade history classes. Also, in attendance were history department faculty, Thomas Kennelly, the Program Director of Boston Latin School’s History Department and Turkish Consul General in Boston, Süleyman Ömür Budak. The show began with a 15-minute presentation about the history and cultural relevance of the Hacivat Karagoz shadow puppet performances. The presentation was followed by the puppet show, which the guests enjoyed immensely. In the end, attendees were invited to see the characters, meet the puppeteers, and engage in a question and answer session to learn more about Hacivat Karagoz and Turkish culture.
After this successful program with the Turkish Consulate in Boston, the Yunus Emre Institute hopes to continue working with Turkish Consulates across the United States. Programs such as the Hacivat Karagoz puppet show utilize public and cultural diplomacy in an effort to introduce Turkish culture and Turkish heritage with people from around the country.