UW Celebrates Central Asian-Persian Awareness Day and Navruz
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UW Celebrates Central Asian-Persian Awareness Day and Navruz

The University of Wyoming’s Central Asian Student Association (CASA) recently celebrated its 11th annual Central Asian Awareness Day and Navruz.

This year, CASA warmly welcomed Persian students as members, aiming to raise awareness about their culture and Navruz traditions. Navruz, meaning “new day,” is the Persian New Year and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, typically occurring on March 21.

Navruz is one of the most treasured holidays in Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Azerbaijan. The holiday is celebrated across Iran and Central Asia, all the way to the Black Sea and the Balkans.

“CASA was established in October 2011 as a recognized student organization at UW. It was formed to create and promote a better understanding of Central Asia and its rich culture and history among students, faculty and the local community through involvement,” Global Engagement Fellow Dr. Dilnoza Khasilova said.  

“By bringing awareness, we wanted to build peace but also connect our students from UW with students who are coming from those countries as well.”

CASA has been recognized for the top country display during International Education Week at UW three times. The group’s table was voted the best cultural display by the organizers of the event. 

It has also given aid to international students by creating learning programs to help students and creating a food drive to help students in need.

Zeinab Akbarishahabi, President of the Persian Students Association at UW, expressed excitement for the Persian students who were welcomed into CASA.

“We are overjoyed to attend this event because we have similar cultures, and we all celebrate Navruz at the start of the spring season. It is nice to share our cultures and traditions and talk more about our identities as well,” Akbarishahabi said. 

As well as helping plan and create the event, Akbarishahabi and Art and Theater major student Nina Poussard emceed the event. 

The Central Asian Awareness Day event featured guest speakers, trivia, country videos, presentations, and performances by the Swing Dance Club and special guests Zamira Salim & Artigul Ensemble. 

Salim, a traditional Central Asian folk dancer, shared the beauty of folk dances with the UW community. Abbos Kosimov, a world-renowned Doyra (a traditional Central Asian drum) player, captivated the audience with his skillful percussion.

“Peace and solidarity, as well as reconciliation, is the message we want to spread and celebrate as they play a significant role in strengthing ties among people based on mutual respect,” Khasilova emphasized. 

“We have been celebrating Central Asian Awareness Day for over 10 years on campus now. Members of CASA and the UW community have been able to share the cultural traditions of the many parts of Central Asia.”

World Recognized Master Doyra Player & Percussionist Abbos Kosimov moves the crowd with his masterful Doyra playing. Kosimov established his own Doyra school back in 1994 to teach people the art of the drum. 

Source : BI