Traditional Turkish archery lessons to start in South Africa next month

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JOHANNESBURG (AA) – A Turkish cultural center in South Africa announced on Thursday that it will begin teaching traditional Turkish archery, listed by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2019.

“We sent two South African nationals to Turkey in April this year to study archery and they have now returned. They will teach the sport at our institute,” director Abdulaziz Yigit told Anadolu Agency. from the Yunus Emre Institute in South Africa.

Classes are expected to start in September, Yigit said, adding that traditional Turkish archery – practiced both on foot and on horseback – had been transformed into a sport over the centuries with its various principles, rules, rituals and social practices.

On foot, it includes aerial shooting, long-range shooting, darp (pounding) shooting, puta shooting and performance shooting.

– Turkish cooking class

According to Yigit, the Yunus Emre Institute also plans to open a Turkish cooking school in South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg, to cater to the ever-increasing number of people seeking Turkish dishes in the economy. most advanced in Africa.

“During our Turkish Food Week held in Johannesburg and Pretoria in May this year, people showed great interest in learning how Turkish food is prepared,” Yigit said.

The Turkish Embassy in the capital Pretoria has offered free breakfasts and meals to several South Africans to sample traditional Turkish dishes as part of Turkish Food Week.

Türkiye promoted its cuisine at a series of events across the country and in all its overseas missions during Turkish Cuisine Week, held for the first time this year May 21-27.

The events were organized under the auspices of the Turkish Presidency and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

“We hope that once this school opens, it will train many Turkish chefs to cater to the ever-growing market for Turkish cuisine,” Yigit said.

– Turkish language lessons

Since its establishment in South Africa in 2017, the Yunus Emre Institute has taught Turkish language and art to approximately 300 students.

“Many people have taken our Turkish courses for various purposes. Some want to learn the language for business communication, and some want to join higher education institutions in Turkey, among other reasons,” Yigit said.

The institute, which also promotes cultural relations by coordinating with local South African cultural institutions, previously only taught Ottoman Turkish calligraphy as an art form, but has now expanded into several other courses. of art.

These include Ebru, marbling, ceramic tiles and traditional Turkish crafts among others.

Yigit said he suspended face-to-face classes during the coronavirus pandemic and would restart interactive classes this month.

“During the pandemic, we taught our students online. Before the pandemic, we had 160 Turkish language students. But now the number has dropped to 60,” he said.

Yigit added that the institute had vigorously announced the start of face-to-face studies.

“Many people have already responded by signing up for classes,” he said.

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