SMC Celebrates The Persian New Year

On Thursday, March 26, students, faculty and visitors alike celebrated Nowruz- The Iranian New Yearwith a lavish event thrown by the Iranian Students Club, which brought
cheers from all with their culturally infused food, traditional relics and hip
entertainment. The event even SMC President Chui L. Tsang to join in on the fun.

"It's great being here with the Iranian community," said Tsang. "I'm very happy our students are taking the initiative and the leadership to bring this about because they're proud of their heritage and want to share it with the rest of the college.
"That is very important to us because that's the kind of institution that we are. We're here for everybody and we want to recognize the value that each (person) brings to this unique place we call home."

Iranian students, professors and visitors enjoyed the glorious occasion on Thursday, which happens to be only one of the many events Iranians put together to celebrate their New Year within a three-week span.
Organized by the I.S.C and its president, Omid Yousefian, and funded by the Associated Student Board, the extravagant bash displayed the many wonders the Iranian culture has to offer that ranged from food with symbolic meanings to household items that sum up the true meaning of the New Year.

Using most of the fairly new Quad on campus, the New Years bash had several attractions on hand, with most of the entertainment coming from the enjoyable performances of DJ Atash and the world famous, belly-dancing troupe, Juliana and the Jewels of the Desert.

Along with these special performances, all in attendance danced to the tunes of cultural Iranian music by the likings of Shahdad Hoshidari, Saviz Shafiei and Saba Janamian who played the traditional Tar instrument, the Persian lute, for about an hour.

A first for the event's six year existence was the Kosher Food. "The food was delicious," says A.S. President, David Chun. " I loved rice and vegetables...obviously there was a reason the line for the food was back up all the way to [Pico Boulevard]." After taking some time to analyze the situation at the Quad, Tsang said: "It's lovely, you know, we spent a lot of money creating this central space and
it's essentially for our students to have
a place where they feel comfortable
and hang out, do all kinds of activities
such as rock concerts, rock climbing,
acrobatic shows and more. I'm just
so happy to see that it's being put to
good use."

According to Chun the event was "very inviting to anybody walking by" while allowing others the opportunity to take part in an event that displayed its cultural beauty. As President of the I.S.C., Yousefian, 26, admits the event was organized to spread recognition and awareness of the culture's beauty.

"We're trying to introduce the culture
around here because we believe it's a very rich culture," said Yousefian. "To show the richness and the beauty, we set-up an art canopy with beautiful rugs and paintings, a canopy with [traditional] musical instruments and a tent set-up with Persian food to present the richness of the culture to everybody."

The event was met with great acclaim as most in attendance danced for more than two hours and cheered when a modern song infused with Farsi lyrics played on the speakers. Planning for next year's event will be underway sometime next January. For now, the I.S.C. hopes their intention of spreading Iranian culture to the masses has finally come true with the Thursday's successfully planned event.

"We hope it will be even bigger next year and I hope I can still be around to see it," said Yousefian.