CELOP Celebrates Nauryz – the Kazakh New Year
The Kazakh New Year, called Nauryz, is celebrated on the day of the Spring equinox. It marks reconciling the old, and celebrating new life promised by the oncoming spring season. As the weather warms in Boston, and trees begin to bud, Kazakh students at CELOP and their classmates had their own Nauryz celebration in the CELOP lobby one recent afternoon. We asked some members of the CELOP community to share their impressions with us.
“I liked the tug of war,” commented CELOP Senior Program Coordinator Spencer Hitchner. ”I did participate and win, but I was glad that they were including audience members in the festival.” Spencer said that the audience participation made the event particularly memorable.
“I liked the dances. It was very well executed,” remarked CELOP Front Desk staff Mia Ballan. ”The deejays were also very good.”
“I liked seeing the Kazakh families that came to the event with their young children,” said Melanie Greitzer, CELOP Academic Programs Manager. “They brought a nice sense of community and family to the event.”
“Before I came here, I didn’t know about Kazakhstan. I just know the name,” commented Sonoka Ishikawa, a CELOP student from Ryukoku University in Japan. “It’s a good opportunity to learn about Kazakhstan.”
CELOP Student Life Coordinator Shelley Bertolino played a small advisory role to the Kazakh students who organized the event. ”It was a really successful short cultural capsule. In that short amount of time, we got a very good taste of Kazakhstan. We got to learn about their traditions, we got to see a wedding ceremony, singing, dancing, and the tug of war.” Shelley was very impressed with the students’ preparations for the event, and commented that the execution was “organized”, and “polished”.
Nauryz is celebrated annually on March 22nd. According to the Kazakh embassy website, Nauryz celebrations today include a mixture of old and new, ranging from traditional events to rock concerts. ”Anything goes in marking Nauryz…the more festive, the better”1.