-Burns and Rumi Night
As Part of the Scottish Winter Festival, Glasgow Afghan United hosted a special Burns Night where we celebrate the richness of Scotland’s intriguing history, impressive cultural heritage and fascinating inclusive national identity as Equal Scottish Citizens: Honouring Burns and Rumi Night is a day of celebration and cherishing cultural heritage for all in Scotland, our Home .
Aligning such context to our culture, as Afghan community, enables us to continue to share learning and promote community cohesion at various levels while advancing our equal and active citizenship: it is enlightening to understand the uniqueness of Robert Burns and communicating that with parallel context where we cherish and celebrate one of the Afghan 12th century famous poets Molana-Jalaludin-Mohammad Balkhi (Rumi).
We celebrate not only the uniqueness of Robert Burns and Molana-Jalaludin-Mohammad Balkhi (Rumi), but also cherishing the bonds between Scotland and Afghanistan through showcasing our culturally diverse heritage and the amazing inimitability of multicultural Scotland
Many thanks all wonderful speakers, sponsors, Big Lottery, Bemis Scotland, Nghomes, Lowland Reserve Forces, Chinese Community, Police Scotland and all organisations, community leaders organisations and individuals who showed their support and a massive big thanks to the City Chambers and their dedicated staff for their great work and outstanding service on the night.
Our Special thanks to the Embassy of Afghanistan to London, Japan General Consul in Edinburgh and Iraqi Consul in Manchester for Accepting our invitation.
-Afghan New Year
Nawroz (New year) is the Persian new year and is celebrated by a huge number of communities (Afghan, Kurds, Turks etc) for thousands of years. Nearly 300 million people celebrate the festival worldwide, to promote the values of peace and unity within families, among friends and across communities.
Within Scotland, Glasgow Afghan United (GAU) is the first organisation to have celebrated Nawroz. GAU initially marked this historical event in 2012 and since then, Nawroz within the glasgow context has become a yearly event. The event allows members of the Afghan Community as well as people from Scotland and elsewhere in the world to come together and integrate.
Nawroz marks the first day of Hamal, the first month of the Afghani solar year, and is celebrated in Afghanistan with special cultural events and ceremonies with thousands of people welcoming the beginning of a new year with singing, dancing and feasting.
Afghan New Year is all about celebrating the New Year, the arrival of spring and f forgetting all the past misfortunes.
The preparations for new year start a couple weeks before the date with house cleaning, known as Khana Tekani. This is followed by Nawroz Shopping (Kharid-e-Nawroz) in which families purchase new outfits for themselves.
There are a few traditional foods that are made in preparation for Afghan New Year, one of which is Haft-Mewa which means 7 fruits. This is a blend of 7 types of dried fruit that is socked in water for a day or two and is served with the syrup on the day of Nawroz. The dried fruit used can be of the following – almonds, pistachio, dates, raisins and prune.
Another food prepared is called Kulcha-e-Nawrozi which is a unique biscuit and is baked specifically for New year. This is more commonly made by the local bakeries in Afghanistan of by the households themselves.
-International Womens day
International women’s day is celebrated all over the world on the 8th March.
At GAU and as part of our Women Empowerment Project we have an event to celebrate and discuss women’s rights, as well as ongoing discussion about the achievement’s women have received and the women who are making an impact on society and paving a way for other women to follow.
The aim of the events is to bring into light the struggles that women are facing. The women that we work with have been brought up with the culture that a female’s job is to only sit at home, cook, clean and take care of their children. Although this mentality has slowly started to fade it is still prominent in the community and is difficult to change this way of thinking over-night. We want women to know they have an equal place in society just as men do and that there is nothing that they cannot achieve if the put their mind to it.