23 Nisan Kutlu Olsun; Happy National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, Turkey

I very well remember the day we had TV antenna to watch,in particular, Turkish TV channels. Back then I had no idea that Turkish culture was going to enter our lives to this extent. Maybe at that time in some other places the influence of the Russian culture was predominant, but in our neighborhood and particularly, in our family we were going to watch, first,Turkish cartoons, then movies, and finally TV shows for a while. There were not  so many Azeri TV channels, and almost everybody in the neighborhood was watching Turkish TV channels in the end of the last century. There is a saying ‘Qonshudan qalma’ (literally don’t stay behind neighbor). That was the time this saying was being fully realized.

Today, I see in my life the result of watching Turkish TV channels a lot. Here it is, as soon as I found out today’s date, I started looking for Turkish websites to read about Uluslararası 23 Nisan Çocuk Şenliği –23 April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. In 1923 on this date, Ataturk founded a national parliament of the newly declared Republic of Turkey, and dedicated this date to children, since he also believed children are the future, new beginning of tomorrow.

On this day, hundreds of children from all over the world are invited the capital, Ankara, to present their songs, dances from their own cultures. Also, children in Turkey, symbolically, govern the country for a day. President, Prime Minister, parliamentarians and all other government officials are replaced by children.

It seems today I am breaking one tradition of my life by not watching this festival on TRT; I have got a lesson to attend, or maybe it is just I don’t have sisters here to watch with. Here is the most famous song of this festival.


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