Culture, community

By: Jessica Ricks, Contributing Writer

For the Iranian Student Union, the New Year isn’t just a traditional celebration, it’s about bringing together a community.

The ISU held a celebration of the Persian New Year, Norooz, on Feb. 28 in the West Village Commons ballrooms.

“We are a minor community here and we try to hold these events together, to gather together, and have fun and keep our community connected,” sophomore and ISU member Arghavan Memari said.

Norooz, or “new day,” is a tradition that is almost 3,000 years old. It has become a tradition for Towson as well, as the ISU has been holding this celebration for four years.

“Besides being cultural, Iranian New Year brings end to one thing and beginning of another,” junior and ISU secretary Justin Brown said. “American New Year is more about the party but Persians are very family oriented.”

Although the ballroom was primarily full of Towson’s Iranian students and their friends and families, any and all Towson students were invited to attend. The event was held not only to bring Iranian students together and celebrate their culture, but also to teach Towson students about that culture.

“I hope students learn about different cultures and how people in different places celebrate them,” Memari said.

The members of ISU hoped that in teaching Towson students about their cultural celebrations, it would help to dispel stereotypes about their culture.

“The media is projecting an unreliable picture of Iran and it’s important to show the other side of it,” junior and ISU president Mersedeh Sarrafi said. “We have celebrations and ancient history. I don’t want people to think of us as isolated; we are involved as a community.”

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