On March 20, the Central Asian Student Association (CASA) of the University of Wyoming will host an event that celebrates the traditions, cultures, and histories of Central Asia.
While many people in the United States are familiar with East Asia and South Asia, Central Asia is still somewhat under-studied and under-explored. Central Asia consists of the former Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, and Turkmenistan.
The event will be held in celebration of Navruz, which translates to “New Day of Spring.” The Navruz holiday marks the beginning of spring and the start of a new year for the cultures that celebrate it. Navruz is one of the largest and most significant celebrations of the year in Central Asia.
“We hope to bring people together for a New Year celebration, and also to raise awareness of Central Asian cultures,” said Dilnoza Khasilova, program coordinator for the UW world language and culture program. Although she has lived in Wyoming for 10 years, Khasilova is originally from Uzbekistan. She hopes that if people enjoy themselves and are interested in learning more about the culture, they might reach out to the university to take a language course, or maybe even visit these countries.
“We want people to get to know the culture through visual arts,” she said. For the event, they will host a variety of Central Asian celebrities who are famous for their works in the arts, including famous actors, bloggers, and dancers. This celebrated Central Asian lineup will also include Akhror Burkhanov, the cultural attach of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United States.
CASA has been hosting this Central Asian Awareness Day event for the past seven years. Historically, the event has been held in person and on campus. This year will be their first time hosting a large virtual program, and Khasilova is excited to see how it turns out.
JOIN THE CELEBRATION
The Central Asian Awareness Day celebration will be held from 2-3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 20. It will be broadcast live via Zoom and Facebook live. For more information, contact CASA on Facebook @CentralAsianStudentAssociation.