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University Community to Celebrate Persian New Year Nowruz

NowruzThe Diversity and Inclusion Office and the Center for Global Studies and Engagement are collaborating to sponsor the Persian New Year celebration, Nowruz, at Ferris State University on Wednesday, March 20 at 5 p.m. in the Interdisciplinary Resource Center.

Nowruz, the first day of the Iranian solar year, is translated as “New Day” in Persian (Farsi) and brings hope, peace and prosperity to the world, said Sara Ansari, research project analyst for Ferris’ Extended and International Operations division. Ansari noted that people from different religions and backgrounds consider Nowruz their new year and celebrate it similar to the way that many people celebrate Christmas, with family members giving gifts to each other and making good wishes for each family member.

Ferris’ celebration features Persian food, presentations by Shahram Parastesh, a sociology instructor in Ferris’ College of Arts, Sciences and Education, and Sara Ansari, music and more.

“Being far away from home, Iranians in different countries still celebrate this event and try to keep their traditions,” Ansari said. “That’s why, for me, it’s important to share my traditions with people from other countries and tell them about the message of Nowruz, which is peace and solidarity between generations.

“All families and relatives visit each other during 13 days of festival as a message of peace between human beings. This event is celebrated in different countries with some differences in traditions,” added Ansari as she explained why this event is important for her to remain connected with her culture and roots while sharing a little of her home traditions with the Ferris community. “People from different ethnicities and languages in Iran celebrate this event.”

“According to the preamble of the resolution on the International Day (document A/64/L.30/Rev.2), Nowruz, which means new day, is celebrated on 21 March, the day of the vernal equinox, by more than 300 million people worldwide as the beginning of the new year.  It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.

“The Assembly called on Member States that celebrate the festival to study its history and traditions with a view to disseminating that knowledge among the international community and organizing annual commemoration events.

“Welcoming the inclusion of Nowruz into the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 30 September 2009, the text notes the festival’s “affirmation of life in harmony with nature, the awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and the solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.”

Ansari came to Ferris in August 2010 to pursue a second master’s degree, in Information System Management. She graduated in December 2011 and began work as research project analyst in February 2012.