The 6th Annual Turkish Language Olympiad, which was organized by Raindrop Turkish House, was held at the Hobby Center Sarofim Hall on Saturday, February 18, 2012. Viewed by 2000 viewers, there was a festive atmosphere. The MC of the program was Fox 26’s Melissa Wilson. The program also hosted distinguished guests including congressmen and congresswomen from Turkey, Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis and the Consul General of Turkey.
Students did a great job in their performances. The audience enjoyed professional class singing, poetry recitation and folk dance performances representing different local regions of Turkey from Horon to Zeybek.
Lorna Hale, Sonia Tapscott and San Antonio team won the gold medal award in poetry, singing and folk dance categories respectively.
During the program Turquoise Council presented awards in different categories. Debra Fraser from Houston Public Radio received media award, HCC chancellor Mary Spangler received academics award and Houston Mayor Annise Parker received government relations award.
Harris County Judge and Houston Mayor Annise Parker proclaimed February 18th of 2012 as Turkish Language Olympiad Day in Harris County and Houston.
Turkish congresswomen Oya Eronat greeted the audience and expressed, “We believe that the activities undertaken by Raindrop Turkish House will contribute to Turkish-American friendship that has roots in history. We believe by learning the language and culture of one another, we will understand one another and our friendship will grow stronger. Also, these students who learn Turkish will establish bridges between our societies. We thank anybody who contributes to realization of today’s event.”
State Senator Rodney Ellis also shared his remarks with the audience. He mentioned his experiences in his trip to Turkey and remarked the strong relationship between Texas and Turkey. He also expressed that Turkish was spoken by over 200 million people and taugh in over a hundred countries as a foreign language.
The program ended with the awarded students’ dance on the stage. All in all, the program offered a great time in an exciting ambiance to the audience.