Sesame Street International: 9 Notable Muppets From Around the World

From Mental Floss:

There are currently more than 20 versions of Sesame Street in countries around the world. From Oscar the Grouch’s Israeli cousin to Nigeria’s Yam Monster, here are some of our favorite international Muppets.

1. OSCAR THE GROUCH’S ISRAELI COUSIN

The Israeli version of Oscar the Grouch is Moishe Oofnik, whose last name means “grouch” in Hebrew. The biggest difference between the two is that when Moishe started on the Israeli show, he lived in a broken-down car instead of a garbage can. The reason? Israeli kids are taught not to play in trash receptacles because they might contain bombs. Moishe also happens to be an observant Jew; he celebrates Rosh Hashanah by dipping apples into sardine grease for a slimy New Year.

2. NIGERIA’S YAM MONSTER

In Africa, Sesame Street doesn’t shy away from the big issues. The Nigerian adaptation of the show stars Kami, the world’s first HIV-positive Muppet (introduced by South Africa’s Takalani Sesame), and Zobi, a fluffy, blue cab driver who educates children about malaria. The production has its lighter side, too. Zobi is also the Nigerian version of Cookie Monster, though he’s more of a Yam Monster. Since not many Nigerian children have access to cookies, the producers decided to give Zobi an insatiable craving for one of the country’s staple foods. He often shouts out, “Me eat yam!”

3. BLUKI

Bluki is a full-bodied blue cat-like creature seen on Barrio Sesamo in Spain back in the late ’90s. He resembles nothing so much as the physical manifestation of a bad drug trip—a monster as big as a person and bright blue with pink toes, wearing a wristwatch, stylish waistcoat and propeller hat. But apparently the kids loved him.

 

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