Press release

Seychellois Children Invited to Showcase Folklore and Traditional dance at Turkey’s 36th International Children’s Festival of the 23rd April 2014.

December 9, 2013

Following the success of Seychelles participation at the 4th International Children’s Friendship Festival held in Seattle, USA on 27th – 28th April 2013, the Office of the Ambassador for Women and Children has once again received an invitation from Turkey, to attend the 36th International Children’s Festival of the 23rd April to be held there.

Auditions will be held during this month of December 2013 and children ages 10 years to 13 years are being called upon to step up and audition for a chance to visit Turkey, the birthplace of the International Children’s Friendship Festival. The founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the person who declared the 23rd of April to be International Children’s day and the Festival has been celebrated in Turkey since 1979.

The Ambassador for Women and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Erna Athanasius, said that the children who successfully audition will be hosted in Gaziantep, the 6th largest city of Turkey and they will also get the chance to visit Ankara, the capital city. The 36th International Children’s Festival will be held in Gaziantep, from the 16th – 23rd April 2014. It is an annual event held in different cities around Turkey, where over 30000 children from 116 different countries have been hosted over the last 35 years, sharing their cultural heritage with others from around the world, in the form of unique national dances. Gaziantep, which is located between Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean, is a city of beauty, history and culture with one of the world’s few mosaic museums, namely the Zeugma Museum.

During this 36th edition of the festival, Seychelles is expected to perform our folkloric and traditional dance, through which the children will showcase not only Seychelles’ joie de vivre and cultural harmony, but also its natural beauty. They will also benefit from the exposure to the culture and history of that region.

Parents are being encouraged to collect audition forms at Ray’s Music Room in Victoria as the deadline for submissions is the 31st December 2013.

The Ambassador mentioned that she is immensely grateful for the pledges received already from some organizations, but mostly the wonderful collaboration of the Seychelles Children’s Foundation and The Playroom at Eden Island thus far since the first festival earlier this year. The Ambassador would like to encourage others to support this noble cause, as so many did for the participation in Seattle, Washington. She added that any and all contributions would make a difference and help make a few more Seychellois children’s dreams come true.

Ambassador Athanasius has said that as Seychelles’ participation was so successful earlier this year, she’s encouraged that, with this second invitation, this will become an annual event on the calendar for Seychellois children to aspire to.