SearchYalda Night invites students to experience Persian culture, cuisine

Yalda Night invites students to experience Persian culture, cuisine... 16/11/2017 Economy

Keywords:#Athens, #Facebook, #ISA, #Iranian, #Persian, #San_Antonio, #Saturday,, #University, #Yalda, #Yalda_Night

By Haley Richards
On Saturday at 5:30 p.m., the Ohio University Iranian Student Association will be holding its annual Yalda Night Celebration. Yalda Night is an Iranian holiday celebrating the longest night of the year, and ISA will be hosting the event in Walter Hall with multiple performances and Persian cuisine.
Three contestants race to seed a pomegranate during the Iranian Student Society's Yalda Night celebration on November 12, 2016 in Baker Ballroom. (Blake Nissen | Photo Editor)

* * * “This event is the best international event,” Iman Khondabi, an OU alumnus who is coming from San Antonio, Texas, to celebrate and perform at Yalda Night. “We (will) have very delicious cuisine that night.”
Khondabi will be performing various styles of music, such as traditional Iranian songs as well as pop songs, with a few other members of ISA, all of whom have been practicing several times a week the last couple of months.
If you go:
What: Yalda Night Celebration
Where: Walter Hall, 25 S. Green Dr.
When: 5:30 p.m., Saturday
Admission: $10
“We are well prepared,” he said.
The event is intended to represent a diverse nation with many different languages and foods, according to Ali Rafiei, a graduate student studying chemistry and biochemistry. Rafiei is also the president of ISA.
“We want to give (OU students) a taste of music and tradition,” he said.
This year, a certain number of tickets have been made available each day. Members of the association will have a table on the first floor of Baker Center at 4 p.m. and the final day for ticket sales is Thursday. An attendee is allowed to buy a maximum of three tickets, so the Facebook event page urges people interested in the event to arrive early to purchase their tickets. Rafiei said he expects there to be a line at the table prior to 4 p.m. and to sell out the tickets within the first ten minutes.
“Our events are very popular,” Rafiei said.
Like Khondabi, who is returning to Athens specifically for Yalda Night, many students are interested in the event and the opportunity to learn about Persian culture.
“I think it's important that we understand cultures outside our own,” Michael Wyrick, a freshman studying screenwriting and producing, said.
The Yalda Night holiday is on the date of the winter solstice, which falls on Dec. 14, but the celebration was moved to an earlier date “in order to have enough students and enough interest,” Rafiei said.
Most of the roughly 70 members of ISA will be participating or attending the event, but it is not limited to Iranian students.
“We usually have a majority of our guests from other nations, other cultures,” Rafiei said. “We get very pleased when people from different cultural backgrounds come and visit our event.”

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