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Natalia Borda

I've been told over and over again that cultural imperialism and globalization is a terrible thing. I've been taught that it wipes out cultures, and eliminates diversity; but in this case, how can the spreading of education be a bad thing?

I moved here from Chile at the age of eight, and I can honestly tell you that the first thing I saw on television was Sesame Street. I learned English with Elmo's world and Big Bird, and it increased my vocabulary tremendously... and of course, language wasn't the only thing I learned.

The things that Sesame Street has accomplished in other countries is indescribable! While now it may seem like a negative thing to people who strongly cling to their culture, religion or language... EDUCATION is the ONLY way of getting rid of IGNORANCE, and therefore eliminating fear.

It starts with children, they hold the key to our tomorrow; and while this may seem clich�, we know that teaching them how to love instead of how to hate will be the only answer to our problems.

Dr. Elaine Trikolas Kisisel

During the 1970's, I was teaching in the Child Development and Education Department of Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. We had an opportunity to produce a series of educational/developmental children's programs, Elma Seker, on the national television station. The late Edward Palmer heard of our programs and wanted to involve Sesame Street. Unfortunately, we could not get official approval for this collaboration. However, I continued to lead the team of musicians, artists, professors and graduate students that concluded the successful original series. One of our graduates then produced a children's program that ran until recently.

I congratulate you on your meaningful and caring work in the various countries, as you attempted to address the specific learning needs of the children and honor their cultures. Children are truly our hope for world peace. Thank you.

Brent Binion
Atlanta Georgia

I hate to be the person who would question the institution of Sesame Street when their aura of "goodness" is seemingly unshakeable and unstoppable, but I was a bit disturbed by this show. This is probably due to my unique background. I am currently a Manager over a curriculum design department and I work rigorously with the standards of instructional design process. At a minimum, this process requires clearly defined and measurable learning objectives. I also spent six months as an exchange student in Ibadan Nigeria when I was seventeen, so I have a deep understanding in crossing over cultural boundaries. In addition to this, I have studied puppetry a good bit. So when I watched this program dedicated to developing children's learning programs in, for lack of a better term, devloping countries, I was very intrigued to say the least. What bothered me in the end was the dramatic contrast between hearing the learning objective approved by the Bangladesh Minister (essentially to help with the problem of st reet children becoming terrorists), and then seeing the actual video of the program. There on the screen, representing the learning solution to this objective was a purple girl muppet that looked like she just walked off the set of Sessame Street.

I kept thinking how this little purple Prairie Dawn was going to go to Bangladesh and satisfy this simple objective. Going back to the instructional design process, I also wondered where the measures were? The end of the show was clearly a win for the Sesame Workshop company ("a commercial company" to quote the Bangladesh Minister) but what mechanisms were in place to even measure whether this was truly a win for the target audience? Do the street children even have access to this new Bangladesh Sesame Street? Unfortunately, despite all of the lofty goals, it was extremely difficult for me to see the true connection between the real Bangladesh problems and this solution. I even remember an interview Jim Henson did many years ago where he was asked how his characters could address complex messages around world issues and he even pointed out that that was out of scope for their capabilities. Although the muppets have stretched into some sensitive areas, I seriously doubt a Muppet character will ever translate effective learning in the area of how a child should simply avoid terrorism when living in sqalor and corruption (which I have experienced first hand).

Simply put, this is might have good intentions, but there seems to be little, if any, evidence that this solution is an effective one at resolving the primary learning goals that are driving it. It's hard not to see this in the end as yet another export of American culture. I wonder what the world would be like if the same focus and amount of effort was placed on raising american children's awareness of other cultures? Importing rather than exporting? But would that sell?

Amy Ai-mei Chang
Taipei, Taiwn

It was exactly the time when Anu Gupta says that children are not born haters; they are taught to hate did I found my eyes with tears. It was even more engaging and touching witnessing the identical innocent but perplexed expressions of both Albanian and Serbian children when being asked in which way they thought the other was so different and incommunicable. Sesame Workshop's efforts in child education and this documentary provide me (an ordinary graduate student hunderds of miles away) not only a model, showing me how the capacity and momentum of learning, tolerence, love and mutual-respect can be built up; I also feel deeply infectious with your patience, perserverance and enthusiasm in humanity. The frankness and courage of you in presneting how this programs were pulled to a halt, struggling against sudden changes in political climate as well as power structure, or natural disaters deserves even nuch more of our applause. True, "we don't have the time to get mushy 'cause we have to move now." Don't give up, Sesame Street Crew in the Kosovo peace education program; and it is definitely a brilliant work of glocloization theory without convenient import of Americanism. Thank you all for making the world a better place, for the world is as much yours as mine.

Courtney Carson
Columbus, IN

As a small child(and occasionally, now!), I watched Sesame Street religiously, and I attribute most of my early "world views" to the show itself. I remember being 3 or 4 years old and speaking Spanish to my mother that I'd learned from watching a segment with Rosita once, and her being astounded at how much I'd learned in one sitting. Thanks Sesame Workshop. I wouldn't be the person that I am today without you.

Flushing, New York

As a child, now 14 years old, I never knew that Sesame Street would have shaped my personality to love and respect other cultures and remember we can all live peacefully with one another if we could see beyond our fantasies. This program truly reveals what needs to be done. I loved what Anu Gupta said about children not being born to hate. This was a wonderful documentary and I recommended this to many people who disagree with the teachings of this program. I truly found this wonderful because this made my thoughts final about becoming a voice actress who will promote meaningful messages to children BEFORE they are taught to hate. I also found it funny when Tuktuki was talking about a letter and then she got blown away by a storm :). NO WAR, NO FIGHTING, CULTURES UNITE!

Paul Bokdam

I saw finally this documentary and must say it is good to see how the work continues. Its not just a children�s program, but It really wants to change the world into a better place for children. I hope some day to find full shows of foreign sesame streets on DVD so we can see also other cultures. It�s a good way to learn about life and language! I myself like Zikwe.. he is a joyous blue creature that represented for me the future between all cultures. I sure could fit in any Sesame production because of its sweet and innocent looks...

Daiquiri Y. Robinson
Philadelphia, PA

I want to commend Takalani Sesame for creating a character that can identify with all of the children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. I am the Director of a program here in America that deals strictly with persons infected with HIV/AIDS and to see that even in a country like the United States of America ther is still a great stigma attached with the disease. Those wonderful children that can connect with Kami should feel no shame or fear since they have her and you to hear their stories. Thanks so much for what you do. I watched Sesame Street when I was young and my children watch now and you have evolved your programming to reach those who have no voice. Keep up the good work.

Maryville, TN

Like Natalie from Deerfield, OH, I was also born in 1969, and grew up with Sesame Street (and Free to be You and Me...) I cried when Jim Henson died, and can still cry thinking about the terrible loss of his premature death. He remains one of my greatest heroes. His vision, and the message of Sesame Street (never didactic, but with profound messages for all) have made for a better world, and I am delighted to see how this message is becoming international and a source of hope and change. Thanks, Jim.

Deerfield, OH

Can you tell me how to get...

Can you tell me how to get to where there is so much color that we no longer see it.

Can you tell me how to get to where there is so much diversity that we all get along.

Can you tell me how to get where there are so many languages that we finally understand.

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

I praise the work of Jim Henson and company that changed my world.

I praise the work of those who remain steadfast in changing my children's world.

I was born in 1969, the same year as Sesame Street. Growing up during the transitional years of the 1970's I was aware of all the tension between "races" and "non-traditional" lifestyles. I was also aware that there was a place where they had achieved the dream that all the "grown-ups" around me said was impossible. No matter who or what you were there was room for you on Sesame Street, even if you were a Grouch.

As I watched the final segment of the street children,where they are plunged into poverty and violence by those who seek to divide, I could almost hear all them singing, as a desprete plea the words that I know so well and it broke my heart that I could not honestly answer them, we still have no idea how to get to Sesame Street. But I haven't given up hope.

Let me propose a toast... Here's to the day we won't have to ask how to get to Sesame Street. Here's to the day when we will have arrived!

Sadath Garcia
Santa Monica, CA

I work for the production company that produced THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET and thought I would share with you our own website - www.participate.net where you can learn about the social action campaign that we have created for this film.

For 3 to 4 months of every year, large parts of Northern Bangladesh are flooded by monsoon rains. Roads are impassable, electricity and phone service are lost, and the region�s children are cut off from schools. Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha (Shidhulai), a Bangladeshi nonprofit, uses boats to reach even the most remote regions, providing for children otherwise cut off from an education. Shidhulai�s specially constructed boats are mobile classrooms with libraries and computer centers powered by cellular technology, solar power, and fuel efficient generators. They travel between remote villages six days a week, collecting students and stopping in central locations for classes.

In a unique partnership, Participant Productions, the Sesame Workshop, the Global Fund for Children, and Shidhulai will bring Sisimpur to hundreds of thousands of children in this remote region through Shidhulai�s mobile schools. Through our campaign, children ages 2-14 learning to read and write for the first time will be given the opportunity to watch and learn by viewing Sisimpur.

Ryan Rowe
La Canada, CA

I loved "The World According To Sesame Street." It was smart and fun and very emotional. An eye-opening view to the work that caring people are doing all over the world for their children.

Thank you for sponsoring the program. It was a very well made film, about a very deserving subject.


I am commenting on the Sesame street episode. Near the end of the episode, one of the Sesame Street staffers said, with great emotion, that she was privileged to be working with the local participants. Nothing truer has ever been said.

Steve Eccles
Newington, CT

I was excited when I happened on this week's show because I sponsor an 11 year old boy in Bangladesh through Save the Children. It was great to get a picture of what his world looks like and to hear children actually speaking in Bengla. I have always respected Sesame Street's approach to mixing education and entertainment. I know they will achieve success in Bangladesh, where education is lagging other countries.

Helen Symons
Haydenville, Mass

I am too old to have watched Sesame Street as a child but I watch it now occaisionally as an adult. I loved your program about the International Sesame Street and could have watched it for several more hours. Next time I go to India I want to go to Bangladesh as well. Kudos to you for such a wonderful program

D. W. Keaton
San Diego, California

I have no particular favorite character from Sesame Street; however, one of them does have a special place in my heart, and that is "The Count". He played a role in the bond of trust between my youngest son, Davey, and myself.
In 1998 I worked nights so Davey and I could watch Sesame Street almost every morning around dawn when I'd get home. We would both write down a guess for "The Number of The Day" and whenever one of us got the number they'd get to choose that night's dessert.
During those times we talked alot, and he asked many, many, many, many, questions :). I answered all as carefully as I could; about why I didn't laugh at something he thought was funny, or why he couldn't understand something his older sister could, and how there are numerous levels of comprehension and humor. I'm sure most of it went right over his head. But what he did get was that his daddy loves him tells him the truth about any subject.
Now it's 18 years later and I clearly see that Sesame Street was more valuable to me than to my children.
BIG HUG Sesame Street.

Needham, MA

I was glued to the television for the lnegth of this documentary. What amazed me so much was how the team from each country is empowered to create their own culturally unique Sesame Street working from the same basic principles that have always guided the American version. It doesn't matter that the characters are unique to each culture - what remains consistent is the message of getting along with others. Thank you for showing me the power of Sesame Street around the world.

Deborah Hirschi
Laurel, MD

I watched the documentary two nights ago on PBS. One of your producers said she didn't have time to cry; there was too much to do. Well, I had time to cry that night and did, out of love for those children who so need something like Sesame Street and out of respect for what you're doing. Thank you for providing hope and magic to children and their families who face so little of it in their daily lives.

Elba Diaz
Chicago, IL

I grew up in the inner city of Chicago in an area called Humboldt Park. As one of 5 children to a single parent, it's needless to say that my mother worked many hours and lots of time was spent plopped in front of the television. I have always proclaimed the positive effect Sesame Street had on me and my siblings. After watching the broadcast of "The World According to Sesame Street" I was floored. Throughout the entire documentary I found myself yelling "Yes! Yes!" I had no idea that the show was being used to impact the world's children. It is wonderful that each international show addresses the issues that affect the nation, its culture and its people. I was particularly moved by the South African character, Kami and thought to myself, "There is hope for our world." I am so happy. Thank you and I will be purchasing the dvd and staying up late on Saturday night to watch the rebroadcast. Fantastic.

Maria Vasquez

I love Sesame Street I used to look foward to it every day and, I love to watch the international version of it if I can. I love Kami in South Africa and I also love all of the characters in the one in Bangladesh. I hope everyone there has great success.

Michael A
Minneapolis, MN

Not only did this program showcase the amazing effects of Sesame Street around the world, it dives into the important history of Kosovo, South Africa & Bangladesh. It digs deep explaining the social disruption and the children that are caught in the middle of it all. Amazing efforts were made by the entire crew and producers to explain the importance of how Sesame Street is created independently for each country's social needs. A show that should not be missed!

San Diego, CA

I just finished watching the documentary, and I found myself crying. I don't cry at sad moments, but rather, the pure, good moments. The faces on the Bangladesh team showed immense joy after accomplishing something that is ultimately for someone else. While I'm sure the production team had a lot of fun, the project itself is selfless. I want to thank the Sesame folks for their generosity.

My husband and I still love Muppets, and the youngest one in our household is 33 (if you don't count the cat).

One more thing, thanks for putting me on Sesame Street when I was a Jr. volunteer at the San Francisco Zoo. It may have been only a few seconds here and there, but I'm proud to be a tiny part of this noble organization ( I still tell people about it!).


wow i loved this show and for the usa on i am 35 years old and i love this program and it helped a learning disabled child to grow i am that people thanks. ps you guys should bring all the countres togeter and bring all the muppets to meet each other.

Marcia Burns

I grew up with Sesame Street all my life and even though I'm 41 years old I love all the muppets especially Big Bird and Elmo. The people at SesameWorkshop I think should commended for their deication and to me their bravery going to these countries to bring this wonnderful show to these three countries. I have many favorite memories from the show, butI think personal one are the death of Mr.Hooper and all the places they have traveled from New Mexico to Puerto Rico. Thank you PBS for bring Sesame Street into my life.

Baltimore MD

I truly enjoyed this program. I feel Jim Henson would be proud of how his vision has helped more children learn and grow. His spirit has done more for children than I think even he could have imagined.

R. Zills
Alvin, Texas

I loved it and felt it was very heart warming.I was very pleased to see a program that showed the entire world that all parents-no matter where they live,no matter what race or religion they are-they want the same for their children as we Americans do.Keep up the great work!!


I could not imagine a life without Sesame Street. When I was a child growing up with Sesame Street I wish I could be on it. Sesame Street is such a positive television program for children of all ages and no child around the world should miss the joys of learning about the differances, and the similarities, in all of us in such a positive way that Sesame Street does.

Jennifer MacArthur
Tucson, AZ

What a fabulous production! I am part of that first generation to grow up with Sesame Street and have always held it dear to my heart. When studying psychology in undergrad and learning about it's development in the late 60s, how it was used to support kids who were without opportunities - my heart was deeply touched. I have always worked with kids in one capacity or another, kids of all races, kids from varying socio-economic groups and I think that Sesame had a definite influence on me and the development of my character. I've always tried to be a welcoming individual, include everyone, and I'm so very happy that Sesame Street continues to bring the simple and complex ways to love and live in community to my children. So many favorite characters - Big Bird, Grover and Elmo! Oh and the music...music is in me and I've always loved how Sesame has used music to communicate emotions and life lessons. Keep up the incredible work you are doing all over the world to empower others, teach children, and connect us all!

houston, tx

Last night I watched the Sesame Street docomentary & I was in tears! I knew that Sesame Street aired in other countries, but I had no idea how much thought & consideration went into the programs. I was raised on Sesame Street & other PBS childrens programs & now my son enjoys them too. It was so cool to see the other Muppets from around the world and although different, they were very much the same. I love watching programs about the way people live in other countries, & thought that it was really neat to see how Sesame Street appealed to children everywhere. & why should it not? Sesame Street gives children the foundation needed to be thoughtful, compassionate & accepting human beings...which is important no matter where you live. Last night's documentary gave me goosebumps...it makes me feel good inside to see that in a world full of chaos, in some aspects, children arent being overlooked, & that there are people looking for ways to help the next generation be more understanding of their community, their country, & the world. Just like the Muppets, Sesame Street's mission makes you feel all warm & fuzzy. Sesame Street is so much bigger than your t.v.


Growing up with Jim Henson's creations and influence is a once in a lifetime chance. It's great to see his legacy lives on. It's inspiring to know that there is so much more than mere entertainment at work. Arts & entertainment can go hand in hand with education and help make the world a brighter place. After watching this, I come away with a deeper understanding on what Sesame Street is really about. Moreover, I admire the courage, creativity, and ability of all who work toward sharing a unifying vision of logical understanding throughout the world. It should now be well known that individuals from every corner of the globe indeed share the same ideals.

I would like to thank everyone who were involved with this wonderful presentation! Thank you.

New York, NY

I saw the show on sesame st going international last night. I live in NY but am originally from Bangladesh. It was a very interesting and moving show in such a way that I have not felt in a long time about my culture and country. I wished the production team did not have to go through such turmoil and uncontrolled situation to create a kid's show but the reality is it is not a matter of choice. Besides entertaining unprevileged kids in bangladesh, this show also displayed the realistic view of everyday lifestyle. I found the most embarrassing part where the minister who showed up on the set and did not give commitment to such a great show. But later at PBS site she turned it into her political gain by commiting to help air the show. Its almost as if she is doing a favor by letting underprevileged kids to have some sort of learning/entertainment show.

Despite all the turmoil I am happy the show was aired and is incredibly famous now. Thanks to PBS and its team for initiating such programs.

Pueblo, Colorado

I just wanted to thank you. I watched the Independent Lens about what you are doing around the world and just had to say how incredible it is. I am 36 and never knew a world without Seasame Street, for that I can only say thank you. My daughter got to grow up with the characters I loved and so many new ones that I love along with her. Jim Henson was a great man who changed so many lives forever. You continue to do that on a daily basis. No words can ever thank you enough for what you do and what you are doing for children around the world! Thank you soooo very much.

Los Angeles, CA

I was born in 1982 and I remember watching both Plaza Sesamo and Sesame Street growing up in Los Angeles. Now that I'm a little older, I realize how critical the program was in my early development.

I had to convince my friends to watch this program instead of a movie, and I'm so glad we did. We all shared fond memories of Sesame Street even though we all spent our early lives on three different continents.

What moved me the most was the careful and thoughtful approach that the show has taken in addressing some of the most important issues of our lifetime.

The folks producing these shows understand that complicated issues like AIDS and genocide can be communicated to children simply by focusing on our humanity. And that's pretty awesome.

Lance Silvester
Salt Lake City, Utah

I have not been more moved by any program for years. The World According to Sesame Street should be required viewing for all, shown at the UN and every national governing body! The message of mutual respect and educating the poor and disenfranchised was powerful. I cried, I laughed, I yelled at the screen for the stupidity and cruelty of the intolerant warmongers among us, but was uplifted to see there are those in all societies working for the power of love and understanding. Thank you so much

Karolyn W.
Bellingham, WA

I was flipping through the channels last night and when I saw the words Sesame Street I was excited and intrigued. What they are trying to do for the children around the world is amazing. It was all I could do to keep back tears when seeing the different struggles in these countries to get their own Sesame Street made. I think there is nothing more important than educating our children and teaching them how to accept others and each other. I'm looking forward to learning how the next step in Northern Ireland will work out.

Seattle, WA

I was, am and continue to be a big advocate for Sesame Street. What Anu Gupta says about children not being born haters, is exactly what is so important about the impact Sesame Street has on children. An understanding & respect of the diversity of others is so eloquently demonstrated on Sesame Street and I believe, a true contributor to the ultimate goal of 'World Peace.'
As a grown woman, I continue to listen to my various Sesame Street CD's, especially when immersed in the stress of my daily life. They somehow bring me back to what's important in life - for that, I thank Sesame Street!
I have a dream to visit the Sesame Street set one day - to sing and dance with all the characters and children on the set.
Keep up the great work, the impact you are making on the world is commendable!!!!

Amy Pieren
Minneapolis, MN

The importance of kindness, acceptance, and a love of learning! These is what Sesame Street taught me, and these are universal values which the Sesame Workshop continues to bring to kids across the globe.

Born in 1972, I am a first generation viewer. I was thrilled to start watching Sesame Street again with my own child. Seeing it now I realize that the program is just so much more than numbers and letters for the pre-school set. I appreciate the show on a new level for both the critically important content, and the sheer intelligence in the way that content is delivered.

I love all the Muppets and even now I miss Kermit terribly. Yet looking back on it, I see that Sesame was special for another reason. When I was young I did not have gentle, loving adults upon whom I could rely. For a long time the humans on Sesame were my only window into a world where adults cared about each other and were fully present for the children around them. How delightful to see the characters of Maria, Luis, Gordon and Bob still there today. All of the dedicated actors who portray the adult characters on the show continue the Sesame tradition of modeling the very best kinds of human behavior - just as they did for me 30 years ago.

I love you Sesame Street!

Kate O'Brien

I am writing to say what a magnificent show that was regarding Sesame Street around the world. I was born in 1970 and grew up on Sesame Street and now my children are avid viewers. The people at Sesame Workshop are brilliant, so creative and so passionate and so eager to try to make the world a better place--bravo to them! I think Jim Henson is smiling down from heaven. Thank you for that fine program and thank you for all the years of Sesame Street.

Gisela Dalke
Spokane, Washington

Last night I saw your Sesame Street program and wanted to let you know just how deeply it affected me!!! This work is so amazing and needed, thank you! I work in education, and with the help of federal grants for the past 15 years we have been doing productions of educational programs for schools in the beginning, now for correctional facilities. Because of this I understand a little of the technical and logistical challenges that come with a program like that, and it makes me appreciate your work even more. I shared the web-site with my production people here. They, too, have done some fine work, and they were very interested in this Sesame Project. I am glad that the 'official' (i.e. MSNBC etc) stance of opposition has not prevented you from producing this film, THANK YOU!!!!!

Dallas Texas

I am 40 years old. I believe that my generation is the first to have grown up on Sesame Street. I can attest to the long lasting positive influence of Sesame Street. During the racial unrest of the 60's adults of all races were teaching all children to read. As an adult I became a teacher. My first job I, a white woman with disabilities, was a teacher of Navajo children on the reservation in New Mexico. If Sesame Street continues to be seen by children all over the world, It can only make the world a better place. As adults I believe that many could use a Sesame Street "refresher course", to be reminded of the patience and acceptance and tolerance that we all loose sight of in our daily lives.
Bravo to Sesame Street and keep up all the great work you do.

Dwayne Broadus
Jacksonville, Arkansas

My favorite character is Elmo.I think kids will learn alot. I also like the show. I love you Elmo.

Chicago, IL

I was the first generation to grow up with Sesame Street (i'm 31). I grew up to believe in diversity, work in not-for-profit organizations and want to make the world a better place.

After watching the documentary last night - I can't discount the power of Sesame Street. I always joke if I was to be famous, I wanted to be famous enough to be on Sesame Street.

If I'm sounding too sweet and sappy, please know that my favorite character is Oscar the Grouch and I'm still mad that Snuffy is not imaginary anymore.

Elizabeth Brill
Cordova, TN

I watched this program last night and I thought it was wonderful! I was so moved about how much the sesame team goes to help other countries to have a good program for their children. As a college student studying education (art is my concentration) I think what they are doing is great. If there was a way for me to participate, I know I would love to! It really upset me how our political leaders were bashing the program for having the character with HIV, they did not know the scope of the situation and that it was not going to be airing in the USA. I think that it is very important for the children in South Africa to see themselves represented in the show. I hope sesame the best of luck expanding their show worldwide, and pbs: thank you for airing such interesting and educational programs!

Spring Lake, MI

Absolutely wonderful story. I can't say enough good things about it, but that's not stopping me from telling everyone I know about it. Congratulations and thank you.

Philadelphia, PA

Up until last night when I watched the independent lens documentary on bringing Sesame Street to other countries, I was ignorant to the concepts and social impact of the show. After learning about the focus of the show based on problems occouring in the indivisual countries, I was quite fascinated. Kudos to the writters and everone involved in the project(s)!

Barbara Rey
Elizabeth, NJ

I am profoundly thankful all the creators of this program & S.St. around the world for the wisdom, persistence & love that they bring to their work.
I was born in 1966 & remember loving & very much being influenced by what S.St. taught me from the start. It is clearly evident that it has now changed the lives of children world wide as well. I agree w/the program that respect, empathy are cornerstone values that S.St. exemplifies. I would add passion to these since I learned it's o.k. to bring 100% to what you are doing by the muppets in their own way.
Kermit & it's not easy being green really helped me in my childhood & he became my favorite. I also loved Grover as a stage mgr. When I was attending Loyola Marymount Univ.'s theater dept. because I saw myself in his zaniness as a stage mgr too. I have since become calm in the mist of crisis but it's wonderful to laugh at oneself and learn at the same time. I was so inspired by this program that it literally took me hours to fall asleep. It seems that 99% of the news on tv is negative w/no solutions & is not empowering individuals to make a positive impace. We are blessed to have you in our world.

Annabelle Younger
Stagecoach, Nevada

WOW! KUDOS! This is so refreshing! Jim Henson's dreams have been fulfilled and then some!

I especially loved what is being done in Bangladesh, having lived in India and Bengal for a while. The Bengali's have a very rich culture and have been doing diarama's and puppets and prostetic devices for ages.

My spiritual teacher was born in Bengal and tells for the horrors from the British partition. Prior to that the Hindus and Moslems lived peacefully together. India is the most diverse country in the world and has so many different religious groups that all practice their faiths openly.

One example my teacher gave that would make a nice skit for Sesame Street to do worldwide is as follows:

If all the puppets and children go out in the mid-day sun with buckets of water, they will all see the sun reflecting in each of their buckets. Now ask them how many suns there are. If they look up, they can all see there is only ONE SUN yet they are also as many suns reflecting in each bucket.

"aham brahmas tami" is the sanskrit phrase which means we are all part and parcel of the WHOLE. So much fighting is going on in this world over "religion" yet the latin roots of this word means to re-link. The sanskrit word "yoga" has a similar meaning.


Hello, I saw the program last night. I am amazed at the impact this show has worldwide and saddened at the struggle it takes other cultures to make this progamming possible.The strength and will its participants worldwide is inspiring. Someone said "we dont have time to be mushy we just have to do it" struck a cord with me. While walking to work this am I heard someone telling and albanian woman about the show.... great job and thanks for making this film.

Dee Clark
Jacksonville, Arkansas

I think Seasame Street is one of the most educational but fun shows on TV today and most likely has always been.

Santa Cruz, CA

I grew up watching Sesame Street, and so did my daughter. The joy of watching her eyes get wide and hearing her laugh in delight as she learned new things and fell in love with the characters was heightened by my own memories. Music is a way she and I both learn more easily and so it has supported both of our learning styles. As for myself, I treasure a memory of being with a group of theater students in college; we went to a karaoke bar the night of our opening show to celebrate and found ourselves chooing "The Rainbow Connection" from the Muppet Movie. It was a common theme and memory we all had, and brought us closer together. Kermit's songs and sense of humor really did link parts of my life together and still do.

Juliana Viscardi

I have lived for many years in the States. My children are, as we say in my family, global citizens, due to the fact that we all share multiple citizenships. And shouldn't we all act as if we were all part of the same neighborhood - and that�s what this wonderful show has taught me when I was growing up, no boundaries, my neighbor is everyone; I belong, no matter where I may go. Americans are blessed, in so many ways, and I can only thank you for sharing all that is good and caring for all of our children. It's about time your going internationally!

Fresno, CA

When I watch an episode of Sesame Street today, I can see how some of my favored traits and behaviors were reinforced, or all together introduced. I still remember a cartoon about brushing your teeth and not wasting water. Also, a live-action segment with a man singing "Everybody eats." It is truly embeded deeply into my memory.

Roxanne Engli
Kamloops, British Columbia

I was so very touched by this show and felt a renewed sense of optimisim
towards a more peaceful, gentle and simplier world.
Your work must be guided by a higher power but I applaud you all. Your determintation in Bangladesh proved that love does and can conquer all.
Thanks for helping to make this world a closer and better place. Bless the children.


every way i turn in the world today i cringe for my daughter growing up in it. how uplifting it was to see where the muppets have traveled with their message of friendship and sharing and learning. i was in tears on and off through the film - watching children in other countries in extreme poverty or hating other children because they were raised to. i know what it's like out there and have lived with a broken heart because of it. thankfully, muppets have always been a source of laughter in my life.
i grew up with sesame street and the muppets and have shared them with my daughter all along.
i am convinced that peace on earth will begin with our children and i am so thrilled to find that campaign is well under way through our muppet ambassadors. xoxoxo


I would like to have this program as required viewing for all members of congress and associates.

Kit DeMarco
Oakland, CA

Caught this program tonight and was absolutely moved. Everyone involved in the production of "their" program seemed so genuine and truly friendly. The cooperation to make this groundbreaking program reach "the masses" is phenomenal and inspiring. The energy incorporated in this program is absolutely infectious. Thank you, thank you to all involved in such a wonderful program. I just can't say enough. Thank you.

Hilary Key
Brea, CA

It is difficult to put into words the effect that "The World According to Sesame Street" had upon me. I am incredibly moved. I thank the filmmakers sincerely for so clearly illustrating Sesame Workshop's approach, methods, and effects as it works in tandem with cultures around the world.

So often, and for so many years, I have asked myself what can possibly, realistically be done in this world to palpably further the cause of peace. It seems that the concept of "us vs. them", inevitably springs up like cancers over and over, throughout history, across the globe, manifesting itself in varying levels and types of violence. I have often felt powerless, wondering if anything can be done to by human beings to produce some kind of immunity against the worst in our own natures.

After seeing this film, I feel strongly that what Sesame Workshop is doing - spreading the values of tolerance, equality and empowerment, just to name a few - is the very essence of the answer. Not only is it clear that Sesame Workshop itself is doing incredible work, but I can see that the nature of the approach it takes can potentially be used in unforseen and new ways: that spreading the feelings of delight, joy, love, caring, and respect in any form, to people of all ages, but particularly children, as sappy as it sounds, truly can change the course of history.

Thank you, Independent Lens, Sesame Workshop, and all responsible for this wonderful, eye-opening, life-alterning film.

Eileen Stone
Beaverton, Oregon

I applaud the international Sesame Street team for their efforts to bring learning and joy to children in countries around the world. I could not stop the tears when I watched the faces of those children as they watched their country's version of Sesame Street.
The effort to get the different political interests to stop their bickering and fighting just long enough to see that the program was for the kids.
I never realized how much good PBS does not just for me, but far-reaching. You deserve the government grants you get -and I am sure they will never repay all the good work you do, nor compensate you enough.
Thank you for a really wonderful program.

Nicole Cosmann

As a life-long Muppet fan, I was touched by the lengths communities around the world take to put in place a forum for children to learn and adults to observe. "Muppet Power" transcends political boundaries and philosophies, granting each viewer with a glimpse of what it means to live in a global community where universal values link humanity together around the world.

Carole A. Stein
Eugene. Oregon

Bravo, what an inspiring film. My first child was born in 1969 in Berkeley, California, where I had been a teacher. She and Sesame Street, and I, were products of that time and place. I had always wanted to educate children, my own as well as others. I did that for 37 years, and you helped me through those years, both with my own children, and also with my educating other children. I share your values that all children deserve a childhood. It has become a very old fashioned notioon but it is at the core of your mission and I applaud your for still having that mission. All children deserve moments of unadulterated joy, and your puppets and your vignettes provide that to them. It is about magic, and learning and childrens' love of imaginary things. I cannot thank you and your dedicated staff, enough. ( My only question is what has happened to the Kosovo program)?

Jazmin guzman
sylmar, california

You guys are great!. Keep doing a good job, i am very proud of all of you. I never tought that doing this type of work, means to have big challenges in other countries, but you guys really care for all of our children and it is shown on how you guys bring happiness to our children even tough we have rough times in our lives from this world. Thanks god that you guys exist.

Tammy Tucker
Littleton, Colorado

I have just viewed your film on international Sesame Street programming. I want to say congratulations on a very thought provoking, worthy and inspirational project.

I had no idea what it takes to put on a seemingly simple children's show. The lengths the teams had to go through to put the shows together, the political, environmental and human dramas they had to endure in order to bring their dreams to life, moved me.

It is humbling to realize the life lessons that other countries are teaching their children - how to live with the Aids epidemic, devastating poverty, racial and political tension. The creativity and uniqueness of each country and how they present their views was wonderful.

Your presentation made me realize that I need to do more to help others. You�re making a difference, you are blessing multitudes, and you are shaping and saving our future generations.

Thank you for all you have done and what you will do.

Julie Sheffield
Indianapolis, In

This program was amazing and powerful! Thank you for sharing the work of such creative and courageous people who do not get discouraged by the problems we adults can create and instead keep the objective of touching childrens lives in meaningful and lasting ways in the forefront. We could all learn much from muppets and it is heartening to see that others around the world share a vision of love and harmony amidst some of the most cahllenging natural and man-made crisises! Thanks to you PBS for settin my sights higher and motivating me to give my best to the world!

Dorset, Vt

What a touching, powerful commitment, what brave, persistant, patient people you are! It is our children that must be cared for, educated and told that there are some things that all people share. The way you reach the poorest children and raise their understanding of complex issues, doing it with cultural sensitivity and heart is profound.

The really wonderful section was at the end when the Minister of Women and Children opened her mind and heart to work with you for the good of the children.

All children are really so beautiful and the cultures so vital. Your values to honor these many cultures is so important! We can not melt into one McWorld model.

Our children must learn how other cultures have much to share. Learn how seek to integrate and honor our uniqueness ane not our divide us about our differences.


Marilyn Gabriel
Northfield, MA

I've always enjoyed Independant Lens and tonight was fabulous! We had no idea that Sesame Street has expanded world wide.
Congrats for jobs well done - bringing joy to children across the world.
PS loved that the show was broadcast at 8:30 pm !


I loved this film! It touched and inspired me in so many ways; but more than that, it clarified my vision and gave ME hope that, yes, perhaps I CAN make a difference! I earned my bachelor's degree with a field major in cultural anthropology, sociology, and communications somewhat late in life and then completed most of my credit hours toward a Master's in Public Health when (mostly political) events outside of my control derailed my plans, hopes, and dreams to work among women and children in other countries, especially Africa. (Kami's success made me cry too!) I rebelled against the wishes of my family, rejected the advice of well-meaning friends, and chose a difficult (and sometimes dangerous) path, but your film gives me hope that even at my age (48) my abilities can be utilized to help bring peace, health, and maybe even joy to the most desperate citizens of our world--even if it's through ways that I have not yet imagined.

Thomas Mellin
Bedford, TX

I am still so excited about having seen it that I find it hared to find the words to express the magnitude of happiness and hope this film has given me to picture a better world! The viewer receives a heart-wrenching education in the effects of (taught) hatred and poverty and is simultaneously uplifted by the passionate spirit and creastive brilliance of what are certainly some of the most effective peace makers in the world today.

West Branch, Iowa

I absoulutely loved this documentary, although I did get in some trouble for staying up a tad late by my parents, I still learned so much interesting stuff. Thank you PBS I love Independent Lens.

Toronto, Ontario

thank you for a wonderful, inspiring program! The final scenes of smiling children worldwide brought a tear to the eye... truly. Not only were there cherished childhood memories brought up and recalled, but there was a whole new world of appreciation, wonder, and enthusiasm shown tonight.

The theme of universal values is, I think, central to the Sesame Street world. What are those values? Well, as it was put in the documentary, 'there are no colours on Sesame Street' -which explains why the puppets are various shades of the rainbow -purple, orange, and so on -as opposed to identifiable races. This, I think, is central to Sesame Street -the value that, we're really all the same underneath all the outer differences. Religions, races, creeds, castes... everything just falls away. In childhood, there are no walls, the child is simply that blank canvas -and if you paint it black, it's going to be black forever. Whereas, if you paint in colours, with a light hand, you allow for the painting to take on a life of its own -and this is just what Sesame Street has done, and continues to do, for children worldwide. I was reminded of this in watching tonight's wonderfully inspiring documentary.

And, I must add, as an artist, I loved seeing the production elements -the process of puppet-making was especially enjoyable, as well as the determination and dedication of the crew, writers, and puppeteers. Thank you, all of you, for helping to make this old world a better place. Puppet by puppet, word by word, letter by magical letter, children will learn love, not hate, is the answer to our problems.

Vermillion, SD

I cried at the end of "The World According to Sesame Street." I cried with a mix of sorrow and gratitude: sorrow for people in other countries faced with such problems in "simply" creating and broadcasting a children's television program; gratitude that I live in a country where Sesame Street can be taken for granted. I won't be taking it for granted any longer.

Yolanda Clark

Tonight's Independent Lens was wonderful! I was aware was shown in other countries. I t was interesting to see the work involved in producing this precious and essential show. I have watched the show since childhood. My chest swells with pride to be a member of PBS.

Candice Farrell
Fenton, MI

I just saw the World According to Sesame Street and also ordered the DVD. I wrote a note to my son about it (he is in graduate school at the University of Chicago) and told him how profoundly moving the show was. Thank you for bringing such a timely message to us. I remember one of the co-producers saying the message must always be make simple and that is what you have done with the context of your film. It was simple and yet rich with possibilities for the effected communities as well as the viewers of this film. The creativity of all of the producers reminds me of a quote I read earlier today.
"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves."
-Carl Jung

Please hear my applause and heartfelt gratitude.

manjari chatterji
neenah wisconsin

Thank you for the program. This is not cultural imperialism! Only the utterly humorless could refuse Big Bird,although one must admit Bangladesh's adaptation is delightful. Sesame Street represents the America that is universally beloved. It strikes that note of quirky independence and nonconformism that is to me what America is truly about.

Cape Coral, Florida

I was riveted!! WONDERFUL segment! I was in front of the TV in 1968...and many years to follow. In the most recent years, watching next to my three young sons. Now 10, 9, and 7, Sesame Street is no longer the program of choice. My 10 year old....10 going on 21...has challenged us by not wanting to succumb to shows appropriate for his 7 year old brother. "I'm older now, Mom!" He asks questions about our world. The difficult ones. He asks why I censor his music and television when it's the news that is the most graphic and frightening. This DVD is a must have to own...and be shared! It combines so much insight to the real state of this world...the war, poverty, disease, hatred, etc. It exemplifies the need for child-like innocense....peace and understanding. Portrays examples of many professions that are out there for young people to persue. Not just the fancy careers like "Producer" and "CEO", but those of humanitarian and theatrical nature. I loved watching the artists create the puppets and the leaves on the trees. It demonstrates the producers' perseverence and dedication....a couple of the much needed virtues in today's world. I actually came to tears when the Minister finally said, OK, let's work together! I will have my son's watch this show when I receive my DVD. I am hopeful that at least my oldest son will grasp just a few treasures from viewing it....That he is blessed not to live in poverty with war at his front step....

suparna and Saibal Basu
grove city, ohio

i watched the program about sesame street going international. the idea and the project is amazing!!! I loved the fact that sesame street is now in bangla too.We are originally from india and bengali is our mother tongue too.

my older boy grew up watching Sesame street. He learnt all his alphabets and numbers through it. thanks to elmo and friends!!!!!!!!

good luck with all your projects. its one of the best programs there is in the world for our children.

Hope Lundberg
Slaughter, Louisiana

My childern grew with Sesame Street and now they are adults. I have two grandchildren. Seven year old grandson and fourteen year old.

Your show on LPB touch my heart so.

It is so great what yall are doing around the world with Sesame Street for the children. Bring joy and education of delight to their bright eye.

My younger daughter had a Big Bird blanket for a very long time. She took it everywhere with her. I believe I still have the picture she took in playschool with BIG BIRD in the picture and she had her blanket too.

One day the dog got hold of the blanket and I had to look hard to find another blanket just like it, to replace it. I found the blankets at J.C. Penney's Store then.

My daughter Jennie is twenty eight years old now and just been married for two years, with no children yet.

I will have to quilt a Big Bird blanket for her children and the others with Sesame Street gang.

Thanks for teaching our children with the freedom in America. all the muppet's are loved.

melissa dottle
carbondale, PA

kindness, tolerance, generosity and love these are universal values. i grew up a child of the 70's with sesame street as a daily part of my life. sesame street is much like a looking glass it reflects society and human interactions in a simplified but still intelligent manner for children to relate too. i would like to congratulate all the people involved with sesame international especially those in war torn and poverty stricken countries keep up the good work what you do makes a difference. even if only one child learns greater tolerance or a deeper sense of kindness then their efforts have been worth while. on a different note i must state that i am appalled at the ignorance displayed by our congressmen and religious leaders the outcry regarding the character with hiv status in in south Africa merely demonstrated how uneducated the people criticizing these programs actually are. thank you for an enlightening broadcast and i look forward to future programs

Regine J

I think that all of the essential universal values comes down to the fact that we are all fundamentally the same. We are our individual cultures and at times it defines us or defines the world for us but we are all human. We cry at the same things, laugh at the same things and express our emotions the same way. When children are never taught to see themselves as part of a whole instead of just a part, we have a society that does not know our true value as people.

Thomas F. Curis
Hartford, Connecticut

Phenomenal, Phenomenal, Phenomenal!
Wow...You are revealing the "Universal Values" of mankind, womankind and childkind...to the far reaches of the world...to the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich...and the message is the same...
THE PROCESS, should be studied by EVERY politician, in EVERY country of the world...IMAGINE...who would we be holding hands and singing...
"Come & Play..."
BRAVO, and Blessings to all!

Burlington, WI

I just got done watching your show about Seasme Street around the world. How amazing. I never realized how much of an impact SS can be. At the end when the kids were watching the show on the TV, you could see their eyes light up, and show some hope for the future. Maybe in 20 years we can look back and see a differnt non-hateful world.

I would like to thank SS, I grew up watching it. And in '85 I was 4 and my grandfather had just died. And I was watching SS, and saw the episode when the people were discussing the death of Mr. Hooper. And they were helping Big Bird cope with the loss. Even being 4 I still remember how much that episode helped me. I knew that everything would be alright in the end.

My favorites have always been Bert and Ernie. They were the best of friends, and even when they fought they made up, and stayed that way. With my favorite skit being when Bert was teaching "Bernice" the Pigeon how to play checkers. And Bert explained to Ernie that Bernice was not that good, because because out of the 10 games they played, she only beat him twice. I still love that skit.

Thank you Seasme Street for remembering that children are the future of the world, and if you want to change the world you have to start with them first.

Dallas, Texas

I just wanted to say thank you to PBS and to the late Jim Henson for his vision.

I was lucky enough to be born feamle and African American in 1968. My first memory of Sesame Street was at age 3. I learned to count from "The Count", and my "ABC's" in part from Kermit.

I have never forgotten Sesame Street or the impact it had on me being able to read upon entering kindergarten and the valuable life lessons of having courage, compassion and tolerance that I have carried with me since.

My son was born 14 years ago, and at age 2 he too sang his first ABC's with Kermit.

I simply want to say thank you to PBS and those who continue the Sesame Street mission.

I am forever grateful.

Diane Orozco
Kenosha, Wisconsin

What an eye-opening film! Sesame Street was not around when I was growing up but it was there for my nieces and nephew. How wonderful that little ol' Sesame Street touches the lives of so very many people around the world. Thank you for sharing this film. It reminds us of the vital importance of teaching children that there is a safe good place for us all . . . on Sesame Street.

trumbull, CT

That was such an impressive show and rang a bell with me as I've been involved with Cross-Cultural Solutions for a long time. www.crossculturalsolutions.org CCS has the same goals as Sesame Street. Also Richard Hunt was very kind to my children and friends - the only time I was in the Twin Towers was as his guest before we went to a Sesame Street taping.
Hopefully this show will be aired again.

robert johnson
cincinnati oh

Projets like Sesame Street will win the long term war on terror and intolerance, and have more impact than any bomb or gun.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Like so many others I grew up with Sesame Street. I was born in 1974 and can't remember Sesame Street never being there for my young, eager mind. Of course, by the time I started watching T.V. Sesame Street was already well underway.
It warmed my heart to see the efforts being made to bring Sesame Street to the children of the world. How wonderful that each program is designed for each specific countries needs. Racial understanding in Kosovo, AIDS in Africa, Human Rights in India.
I was profoundly impressed by the fact that Big Bird and the other characters do not neccessarily exist in other countries. That was an opportunity for big time Branding and it was cast aside in order to appeal to the children's needs and not to the possibility of making a buck.

Joel K. Foster
Phoenix, Arizona

Your Independentlens was the greatest productionsI have seen on television in recent memory. Thank you. And I hope to see more of such quality.

David Skeeter
San Jose, CA

I'm currently watching 'The World According to Sesame Street' on KQED. I think it's fantastic. Thank you.

In addition to inspiring me to continue working on a Native American languages video project I started developing nearly a year ago, it's helped me rethink a few issues I've been struggling with.

Title bar photograph and graphic provided courtesy of Sesame Workshop.
Sesame Street® and associated characters, trademarks and design elements are owned and licensed by Sesame Workshop. ©2006 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved.


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