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The 2016 Navruz Celebration

This year the Bloomington community celebrated the Persian holiday of Navruz on Thursday, March 31st at Willkie Auditorium. Navruz falls on the vernal equinox and traditionally has been viewed as the coming of spring in Turkey, Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Xinjiang, and many communities around the world. Due to Indiana University’s unique Department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS), IU’s Navruz usually entails a wide range of poetry readings, songs, and dances. Drawing upon the students, faculty, and Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) connected to CEUS, the Navruz Student Association is able to organize an impressive array of performances.

This year’s Navruz celebration consists of two acts and an intermission. Act one of the program consisted of the following performances:

1.       Uzbek dance from Surkhondarya “Yaqu-Yaq”
Performed by Dilnoza Kadyrova and Amita Vempati

2.       2. Persian Poem “Good News, Spring Has Arrived” by Hafez
Recited by Lamia Djeldjel and Ethan Hudson

3.       Persian Song “Mehmooni Bahaar”
Sung by the first and second-year Persian language students of Indiana University

4.       Kazakh Poem “Nauryz”
Recited by Saulet Alpysbayeva

5.       Tajiki “Tu Bahori Mani” and Uzbek “Sen Bahorsan” (“You Are Spring”)
Sung and Arranged by Amita Vempati

6.       Uyghur Folk Dance “Chirayliq”
Performed by Jewher Ilham

7.       Kyrgyz Folk Tale “Sumolok”
Performed and Adapted by Aitbubu Abydyraeva, Joseph Shepard, Samuel Buelow, and Kara Madison

The intermission featured dinner catered by Anatolia Turkish Restaurant and Sofra Café, both locally owned restaurants in Bloomington. The program then continued with the following performances in the second act:

8.       Urdu Poem “Tipu ki Wasiyat” (“The Will of Tipu Sultan”) by Allama Iqbal
Recited by Laila Rajani

9.       Uyghur Folk Song “Qara-Qara Qaghilarni” (“The Black Crows”)
Sung by Zong Zhang

10.   Azeri “Sari Gelin” and Persian “Daman Keshaan”
Sung and Arranged by Dr. Shahyar Daneshgar and Jermaine Butler

11.   Uzbek Dance “Shirin Zabon”
Performed by Dilnoza Kadyrova

12.   Uzbek Song “Jiyda Gullaganda” (“The Oleaster is in Bloom”)
Sung by the Uzbek language students of Indiana University

13.   Kazakh Song “Ğaşyqsyñ Ba”(“Are You in Love?”) by Orda
Performed by Samuel Buelow


The event was supported by the Indiana University Student Association, the Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource, the Department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS), Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Foreign Language Teachers at Indiana University,many student volunteers, Anatolia Turkish Restaurant, and Sofra Cafe.