If you have ever found yourself wanting to learn more about the Persian community, culture, or cuisine, then you might be interested in joining the Persian Cultural Society here at UNC-Chapel Hill. The Persian Cultural Society (PCS) is a student-led organization that brings students together in hopes of creating unity, diversity, and a better understanding of Persian culture and the Iranian-American identity.
Sanam Kavari, President of PCS views the goal of PCS as twofold: awareness and education. “We want to build an inclusive space for Iranian-American students that fosters a sense of community. Through our community, we want to make others aware of our place on UNC’s campus as well as educate others about our culture,” Kavari said. Kavari is a senior from Hillsborough, NC, studying Environmental Health Sciences in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Kavari emphasized that PCS and its events are open and welcome to all students, regardless of cultural, ethnic, or religious background. Since PCS makes great efforts to educate students and community members, it is vital that the organization and its hosted events are open and accessible to everyone.
“PCS has always had the goal of sharing Persian culture, but this year we have started to shift our focus more toward engaging non-Persian members of the UNC community,” Kavari said.
PCS hosts several events throughout the year that celebrate Persian culture and educate. They include:
- 1001 Nights
- Nowruz (a celebration of the Persian New Year)
1001 Nights is a major event hosted by PCS and it takes place during the fall semester. The event serves as a celebration of Middle Eastern culture. PCS collaborates with various other cultural groups for this event and offers food and entertainment for the public, free of charge.
Nowruz is the major PCS-hosted event during the spring semester and it is a celebration of the Persian New Year. The event features food, performances by the PCS Dance Team, entertainment, and cultural activities.
This Sunday, March 24th, is when the Nowruz celebration is scheduled to take place at 5:30pm in the Great Hall. Just like prior years, the event has sold out as many people are excited to participate in the cultural experience.
The success of the event highlights the importance of PCS within the UNC community. Some students are not able to go back home to celebrate the Persian New Year with their families, so the PCS-hosted event means a lot to the Iranian-American students on UNC’s campus.
Students who want to get involved with PCS can reach out to club officers through HeelLife.