Published article on Diversity Magazine Website by Kimberly Ihekwoaba
Calgary: It was a burst of flavours, colourful traditional attire and music. Members of the community came together on April 1, 2017, to celebrate the Calgary Nevruz Spring Festival. The Burc International Centre hosted this event at the Genesis Centre. The name “Nevruz” stems from the “Nowruz” celebration. This marks the New year in Eastern traditions. It usually takes place on March 21 as the day of the astronomical Northward Equinox. It is a celebration among people from Turkey, Azerbaijan, the North Caucasus, Iran, Northern Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and other scattered populations in Central Asia.
Mostafa Mojumdar, Founder and Coordinator of Nevrus Calgary Spring Festival, shared his inspiration for creating Nevruz; “The multicultural aspect and second, to accommodate the shortfall of some of the communities organising large events.” He wishes to address the problem of promoting multiculturalism. Everyone desire representation, regardless of the size of their country of origin. He also enjoys being a newcomer in Canada. Based on his previous experience in Europe, he recognises the advantage Canada has over the rest of the world. Canada is successful in the integration of cultures into the society. Nevruz creates a platform that allows communities to share their experience. He hopes that more individuals will be aware and more Canadians come together in celebration of their culture.
Free Mind Learning Services was also present. They support immigrants that want to develop their skills in the English language. The founder, Sara Dasko started about seven years ago. It was birthed out of her experience with teaching abroad and in the local downtown area. She began offering English as a second language (ESL) services to help immigrants become confident in expressing themselves.
Among the crowds was Anjana Parikh, the mastermind behind Shreeji Jewelry. She displayed jewellery inspired by her culture. She is glad to be part of the event and network with other communities. Additionally, Melike Inekci from Tugba Boutique held colourful scarfs for accessories. She shared her view on the event, “it is a mini-demonstration of multiculturalism. And multiculturalism means peace.” Jibek Tashtanalievc, a participant of the event, wants her children to feel, smell and taste the culture. It is a way to pass on the culture to the kids.
Festivals like Nevruz create an opportunity to promote cultural teachings and peaceful coexistence among people from all nations.