On March 17, UFV will play host to a celebration of Afghan culture and the region’s new year with a traditional dinner and dance, as well as a fashion show. Shabnam Qanbery, the president of the newly founded Afghan culture club said, “We thought that holding this Nowrooz celebration would be a great first event because of the significance that the new year brings, and us being a new club. Our goal is ultimately to unite the Afghan and Iranian population here at UFV and bring all the students together.”

Nowrooz is celebrated in numerous countries other than Afghanistan, including Iran, Kazakhstan, and Albania. Signifying the first day of spring, Qanbery explained that the celebrations vary between the cultures and the Afghan culture club hopes to see interest from people of all cultural backgrounds. “We think that this would be a great event where anyone from any community can come and ask questions or learn about our culture and traditions,” said Qanbery. “We have already received so much positive feedback about this club and event from all the student bodies here at UFV, and it’s exciting to see so many people interested in attending the event.”

While this is the Afghan culture club’s first official event, they promise it won’t be their last. They have plans for summer picnics, Iftar dinners during Ramadan, and an Eid celebration, but Qanbery’s current focus is on Nowrooz. “We want to educate students about what Nowrooz is while having fun, eating, dancing, and [creating] an overall inclusive and enjoyable environment.” His final goal for March 17 is simple: “At the end of the day, this will be a successful event when everyone leaves happy, having had lots of fun, and learning something new! We hope this will be an event that will spark new friendships and bring the university together!”

The doors open at 5:00 p.m. in the Student Union Building’s Great Hall, with the event kicking off at 5:30. It will begin with a dinner of authentic Afghan food, including rice, salad, and kebabs, all completely halal. It will be followed by a fashion show highlighting traditional Afghan clothing, and Qanbery suggests that anyone interested in modeling their own outfits should reach out to the club at afghancultureclub.ufv@gmail.com. After that, “a mix of cultural music” will play and attendees will have a chance to dance, mingle, and socialize for the remainder of the evening.

Admission is free for UFV students, and $5.91 for non-students (who must be accompanying a student), though for security reasons both groups will need to reserve their tickets online ahead of time, as they will not be available at the door. Tickets can be found at Eventbrite and on the group’s Facebook page.