Across the Globe

Americans and Tajiks Celebrate Persian New Year Together

April 03, 2015
Image
Placeholder image

Navruz, the Persian New Year, is a time of celebration and renewal for the people of Tajikistan. American students studying Tajik and Farsi on the Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP) in Tajikistan and alumni of the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) came together to celebrate Persian language and culture in the capital, Dushanbe.

Navruz, the Persian New Year, is a time of celebration and renewal for the people of Tajikistan. American students studying Tajik and Farsi on the Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP) in Tajikistan and alumni of the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) came together to celebrate Persian language and culture in the capital, Dushanbe.

The American students sang songs to demonstrate their new Farsi language skills. One American student even recited a famous poem in Farsi, Shahnameh, written by renowned Persian poet Firdausi. No small feat for the student, the Shahnameh is the world's longest poem written by a single poet, describing the historical past of the Persian Empire and is the national epic of Greater Iran.

The FLEX alumni performed traditional Tajik dances, such as Pamirian, Kulobi, Khujandi, and a group Tajik dance. After their performance, they taught the American language students the traditional Tajik style of dance.

Music and singing carried on while everyone feasted over traditional Tajik dishes like osh (a noodle and bean soup), sambusa (a type of dumpling), and sumalak (a sweet, pudding-like paste made of germinated wheat). Preparing and cooking sumalak is one of the most important and unifying traditions of Navruz involving a huge pot and around 12 hours of stirring! and the Tajik FLEX alumni helped the American students prepare the meal.

The Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP) offers intensive, highly-individualized instruction in more than 15 Eurasian languages, including Armenian, Azeri, Dari, Farsi, Georgian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Romanian, Ukrainian, and Uzbek. Through homestays, conversation partners, internships, and volunteer activities, participants enjoy an unprecedented opportunity to immerse themselves in daily local life while receiving ongoing support and guidance from American Councils expert, overseas staff.

Sponsored by the US government, the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program is for secondary school students from 10 republics of the former Soviet Union (Eurasia). The program offers scholarships for students to travel to the United States to attend high school for a full academic year while living with a host family.

RELATED CONTENT