Persian Club Holds 'NoRouz' Celebration

UCSD’s Persian Club held a two-tiered celebration of the Persian New Year, “”NoRouz””, in the Price Center Ballrooms Saturday night. The evening consisted of a cultural show, providing background history of the celebration, as well as a dance party afterward.

The celebration was put together in conjunction with the Persian Cultural Center of San Diego, which has been a supporter of the Persian Club since its inception. A.S. Council funding also made the event possible.

Sam Borghei and Ramin Tabatabai, co-presidents of the UCSD Persian Club, wanted to create an event that would unite Persians from all over Southern California, not just UCSD students.

“”We wanted to do something that would involve a lot of So-Cal Persians who would not usually celebrate the holiday, those who are detached from the culture,”” Borghei said.

“”Especially those who can’t go home because of finals week,”” Tabatabai added.

“”NoRouz,”” which means “”new day”” in the Persian language, Farsi, is a 20-day celebration. The year begins on the Spring Equinox, which falls on March 20 this year, in the middle of finals week. Consequently, many students will not be able to go home and celebrate with their families.

Marshall freshman Yashar Parvin was excited about the night.

“”It gets me back in the mood of the Persian culture,”” Parvin said. “”I want to meet all the Persians coming tonight from the Southern California area.””

The cultural presentations included an overview of the Persian new year holiday, which dates back as many as 3,000 years.

One of the major traditions in celebrating the new year is setting a special table with seven specific items, known as “”Haftseen.”” These items begin with the letter “”S”” in Farsi, and each are symbolic of various attributes of life, including beauty, represented by apples; health, represented by garlic; and fertility, represented by eggs. A Haftseen table was on display just outside the ballrooms for guests to see.

Marcia Strong, A.S. adviser for the Persian Club, called the night an “”overall success,”” and saw it as a great chance for everyone to come to learn about the celebration.

“”I know that the club invites people of all backgrounds to come,”” she said. “”I know they invite parents and administrators to come, as well. It’s a good tool to educate the community. It lets them learn more than what’s at face value.””

Indeed, students of various backgrounds were celebrating.

“”I just wanted to have fun and be aware of the culture,”” she said.

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