The Persian student association’s 2022 cultural show Azar was like going to a high class award ceremony and a family event at the same time. This show was a display of cultural pride and love. I got to learn a lot about Iranian culture and what it meant for the performers to showcase their Iranian heritage.
The audience members were students but a lot of Persian families as well. I have heard from performers that this show attracts Persians from all around Ann Arbor and surrounding areas. In short, this show is a really big deal.
In keeping with displaying Iranian culture and the fact that a lot of the audience spoke Persian, the anchors in the program spoke in both English and Persian. Also, did I mention they had anchors (MCs)?
As I mentioned, this show felt like a high class award ceremony because between performances there were MCs entertaining the audience and telling them about the show.
The show had a diverse range of performances. It had a number of dances from different regions of Iran, a stand-up comedian, a few videos about the Persian Student Association, a very funny skit, and a piano performance.
You could see that the performers were really dedicated to this show. They had a lot of love for their community and it was hard to not love the show because of it. The energy and love were palpable and seeing such diverse performances from areas of the world I did not know much about was an eye opening experience.
I got to see how college students like me show their dedication to their culture and strive to bring together members of their diaspora. In videos shown at the cultural show, PSA members talked about how essential this show is to them for bringing together community members and strengthening their identity as children of immigrants. It was touching to hear that and realize how this show goes beyond just dances and skits.
Their strong sentiments translate to a really amazing show and I hope everyone sees a show like this at least once. It feels like being invited to an intimate affair because the show was so deeply embedded in Persian culture and as someone who is not from Iran I could not have experienced that otherwise. I got to learn so much about Persian culture and I am grateful for that. If you get the chance then I highly highly recommend seeing the show!