Nowruz around Australia
Despite its Iranian and Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by diverse communities. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucuses, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians, Bahais, and some Muslim communities. A key festival in Middle Eastern culture, Nowruz is about food, family, and community.
Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks the first day of the first month (Farvardin) of the Iranian calendar. It usually occurs on March 21 or the previous or following day, depending on where it is observed. It is a festival whereby families gather together to observe the rituals of the day and enjoy food together.
While Nowruz has been celebrated since the reform of the Iranian Calendar in the 11th Century CE to mark the New Year, the United Nations officially recognized the “International Day of Nowruz” with the adoption of UN resolution in 2010.
Our Iranian Voices program features the voices of women from Iran and the Iranian diaspora. Iranian-Australian musician Gelareh Pour will present stories and cultures of musicians in Iran through the exploration of Iranian women singers before and after the 1979 Revolution in Iran. Throughout the storytelling, Gelareh plays the Kamancheh, a fascinating and ancient Iranian string instrument which is an ancestor of the European violin.
Let’s celebrate our Diversity: Harmony week 2020
“At the core of all the faith systems and traditions is the recognition that we are all in this together and that we need to love and support one another to live in harmony and peace in an environmentally sustainable world. Our world continues to be beset by conflict and intolerance with a rising number of refugees and the internally displaced in a hostile and unwelcoming world around them. We are also, unfortunately, witnessing messages of hate spreading discord among people. The need for spiritual guidance has never been greater. It is imperative that we double our efforts to spread the message of good neighbourliness based on our common humanity, a message shared by all faith traditions.” – United Nations
In Australia, we celebrate Harmony Week around the 21 March. Although schools are more and more celebrating intercultural and multicultural understanding of Harmony Week all through March. We offer Full Day Multicultural programs (5 different cultures are presented as a whole school, whole day event), or Half Day Multicultural programs (3 different cultures). These programs can be of the school’s choosing, given availability.
NAIDOC Week 2020 brings all Australians together
Cultural Infusion provides the full spectrum of Aboriginal educational incursions Australia wide, especially during NAIDOC week. Our NAIDOC program includes Aboriginal Culture for a Day, or our 50-minute Indigenous Infusion program of your choice: storytelling, dance, and symbolic art. Our NAIDOC program can be a whole school event, or targeted to specific year levels, celebrating and led by indigenous elders who have been working in schools for up to 20 years. NAIDOC week allows us to focus on our Aboriginal cultural heritage, yet we have year-round programs for schools that focus on all things indigenous.
Many teachers are unsure as to how to teach indigenous studies, Cultural Infusion’s programs give an essential understanding of our First Peoples and how they lived and celebrated life and the environment from pre-primary to Year 12. For Aboriginal Culture for a Day, Cultural Infusion staff will tailor a timetable to your school’s bell times and work with the school’s needs. The full-day program is an experience that will not be forgotten by the students for years to come and will enhance students’ understanding of indigenous culture and the contribution our First People offer to all of us – through music, art, storytelling, and understanding Australia’s natural environment.
The Art of Cajon Drumming
The Cajon is the most widely used Afro-Peruvian musical instrument since the late 16th century. Slaves of the west and central African origin in the Americas are considered to be the source of the Cajon drum. Currently, the instrument is common in musical performance throughout some of the Americas and Spain. The Cajon was developed during the periods of slavery in coastal Peru. The instrument reached a peak in popularity by 1850, and by the end of the 19th century, Cajon players were experimenting with the design of the instrument by bending some of the planks in the Cajon’s body to alter the instrument’s patterns of sound vibration. After slavery, the Cajon was spread to a much larger audience including Criollos.
Although the Cajon originated in Africa, then travelled to South America, Asia and Europe – it’s now a truly global instrument! Tawanda is an expert Cajon maker and percussionist and presents this drumming workshop where students will try different styles of Cajon playing and hear how migration and being open to change can lead to innovation and new shared meaning. Check our website for the state by state availability.