The International Women’s Group (IWG) and the Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye organized a Turkish Cultural Day under the title of “Taste and Flavour of the Turkish Tea”, on Sunday 22nd January at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in the presence of H.E. Fadia Saad AlAbdullah Al Sabah, H.E. Suhaila Al Sabah, and H.E. Belinda Lewis, ambassador of the UK.
The event was held on the occasion of the registration of Turkish tea on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage as a symbol of identity, hospitality and social interaction.
Mrs. Ghada Shawky, President of the International Women’s Group and wife of the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, began her speech by welcoming the guests, and thanking H.E. Tuba Nur Sönmez and the Turkish embassy for organizing this special event.
In her speech Mrs. Shawky mentioned Türkiye‘s rich cultural heritage, being among the most visited countries in the world, and a home to 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. She added that thanks to its unique geography, Türkiye is comprised of a diverse set of both Oriental and European elements. In addition, its major city Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia and reflects an eccentric fusion of both continents. In closing, Mrs. Shawky mentioned Türkiye‘s scrumptious cuisine, and expressed her gratitude to have the opportunity to try, with all members, the famous Turkish tea, which is always served with particular etiquette.
In her opening speech H.E the Turkish Ambassador, Tuba Nur Sönmez, thanked the International Women’s Group (IWG) for the collaboration saying, “IWG is a vibrant, diverse, vocal and active community of women that help bridge our differences within Kuwaiti society in a sisterly way. It should then come as no surprise that when we decided to organize such an event with an eye to promote the role of women in the field of culture, we looked no further than IWG as a local partner”.
Ambassador Sönmez thanked HH the Amir and HH the Crowne Prince for their contribution to improve and strengthen the position of women in every field of Kuwaiti society. She underlined the fact that cultural similarities between Kuwait and Türkiye plays a role in facilitating friendly interaction, “Tea culture in Kuwait and Türkiye is an important social practice that shows hospitality. It helps build and maintain social ties. It is used to celebrate important moments in the lives of communities.”.
Her Excellency also mentioned that, in Kuwait, guests are welcomed in gatherings and Divaniyes with Çay (tea), It is often served alongside traditional deserts and delicious dates.
Ambassador Sönmez stressed the role of women in culture saying that culture and women are inseparable; women play an invaluable role in advancing cultural heritage. “‘Turkish tea’ and ‘the tea culture’ might be the theme of today’s gathering, however, as a proud woman Ambassador, I would like our cultural day to serve as an occasion to convey a powerful message about women and culture”.
The event continued with a short film about Türkiye. Representative of the Turkish Tea Enterprises (ÇAYKUR), the leading state-owned tea company in Türkiye made a presentation about the journey of tea from farm to consumer table. The attendees were served traditional Turkish tea and Baklava and enjoyed a performance of traditional dances and live music.
In addition to being served traditional Turkish tea, the attendees enjoyed a special raffle, door gifts and a sumptuous buffet including various Turkish specialties prepared by the chefs of the Crowne Plaza, completed an outstanding and highly enjoyable event.