Last week, Zari made her debut on television – she’s a “sassy and fun” six-year old with purple skin and an orange nose. Btw, she’s an Afghan puppet, featured on Baghch-e-Simsim (translation “Sesame Garden”), Afghanistan’s local co-production of Sesame Street.
Zari — whose name means “shimmering” in Afghanistan’s two official languages, Dari and Pashtu — is featured in two segments, one in which she interviews interesting people from various backgrounds which serves to educate the young audience about such topics as the importance of study, exercise and health.
Clemence Quint, program manager for Lapis Communications, the Afghan partner of the Sesame Street Workshop, says that this season’s theme is girl empowerment and cultural identity. “Zari is a female because in Afghanistan we thought it was really important to emphasize the fact that a little girl could do as much as everybody else.”