Afghan Student Union flag at the University of Utah. Photo by Mckenzie Alder.
On Wednesday, March 22, the Afghan Student Union (ASU) at the University of Utah hosted its second annual Nowruz celebration.
Nowruz recognizes the Persian New Year every March on the vernal equinox. Nowruz has been observed for nearly 3,000 years and is an official holiday in 13 countries, including Afghanistan.
The festivities began at 6 p.m. with music, food and dancing. Approximately 250 people attended the event and most, if not all, stayed the entirety of the evening. Adults sat around tables and ate traditional foods like Haft Mewa, meaning “seven fruits,” while the children played in the back, giggling and searching for the Afghan flag hidden on the ceiling of the Union Ballroom.
One hour into the night, the celebration was in full swing. Hamza Yaqoobi, founder of ASU, hosted the event and presented numerous acts throughout the evening. There were comedians, poets and musicians. Children performed a style of dance called Attan, practiced most often during festivities, while the rest of the audience clapped along with the beat. Both men and women were draped from head to toe in colorful traditional garments. Some had jingling bangles along the fringe while others had intricate embroidered designs...