Volume 14, Number 13
December 25, 2007

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This Week

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The Turkish Challenge Played Out!

Learning the traditions, culture, norms, values, and language of a new country can be extremely difficult. But, a group Bilkent University's foreign exchange students and faculty members took the challenge to heart and presented an outstanding display of short plays and presentations - in Turkish! Learning a language is hard enough on its own. Speaking in that language, in front of a large audience can be quite scary.

Even though they weren't masters of Turkish, the group tried very hard to show the audience what they had learned. Most of them had a small piece of paper listing their lines, but it still proved that they can, and indeed want to read and speak in the Turkish language. Everyone performed without shying away, and although there were some little mistakes here and there, they picked up and continued on.

"Little Red Riding Hood," "Romeo and Juliet," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,"
challenge"Cinderella," "West Side Story," and "Aladdin" were staged, along with short stories from three individual presenters who spoke in Turkish about their own countries. The plays were fun to watch. They were of stories that we have all grown up with, and I had never actually seen them acted out in Turkish. It was a learning experience for everyone who participated and attended, and nobody was being graded, which made it that much more enjoyable!

Visitors to our country do want to learn Turkish. You can help. Next time you see a foreign student or faculty member around campus, try to teach them a word or two. This will help them improve their Turkish, and could make you a new friend. These folks are trying hard. It was wonderful to see the effort these students and faculty members had made. The fact that they have a desire to learn shows respect for the people of this country. Not only that, there was message of inspiration - when you have the chance to learn a new language, take the challenge and learn it! It will open up a whole new world to you!

Ýrem Esen (ECON/II)

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