MTS Persian Cultural Day

The MTS Persian Cultural Day last week gave students a fantastic opportunity to learn about and explore the Persian culture through authentic performances, art projects, folktales, poetry, cultural artifacts, music, and Persian cuisine!

Introduction and Performances

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The day started with a keynote slideshow presentation with an introduction to Persia put together by MTS teacher, Rob Potter. Next the Niosha Dance Academy based in San Francisco performed both traditional and contemporary dances from the Iranian/Persian cultural world. The dance was followed by musicians, Nariman Assadi, Ahmad Rezazadeh, Ameen Rouhani, and Negin Bastani, showcasing traditional Persian musical instruments including the tombak, daf, oud, tar, and setar. MTS students then came on stage to read quotes from the famous Persian poet, Rumi. After the performances, students enjoyed Persian food catered by the Maykadeh Restaurant.

In the morning, lower school students learned about the history of Persian rugs and then worked together to create their own designs and patterns. During the afternoon program, middle school students rotated through 6 workshops and presentations.

Workshops

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Treasures, Tea, and Treats. MTS parents Kathy Zare and Oggi Kashi and MTS student Ryka presented interesting treasures and artifacts from Iran. Students also enjoyed a taste of Lajijan, a black tea from Northern Iran, as well as a sweet Persian treats from Jasmine Market in San Rafael including puff pastries, chickpea cookie-noon, and nokhochi.

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Persian Tile. MTS Art teachers, Tyler Bewley and Evy Packer, taught students basic techniques in design to create their own Persian tiles. Students learned about the different ways tiles can be used in art - as a mosaic or Ghlami - a technique where several colors are painted onto one tile with a brush.

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Modern Persia & Nowruz. MTS parents, Pooneh Yamini and Atissa Manshouri introduced students to Modern day Iran and the tradition of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

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Musical Instruments. Guest musicians, Nariman Assadi, Negin Bastani, and Don Baker, gave a demonstration of several Persian instruments, and students learned a rhythm pattern to accompany the combined final dance in the finale.

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Persian Dance. Dancers from the Niosha Dance Academy taught students short dance sequences, which were performed in the combined finale at the end of the day by all 6th-8th graders.

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Persian Calligraphy. MTS parents, Matt Yamini, Parizan Ehsan, and grandparent, Shahla Motamedi, introduced students to the art of Persian calligraphy.

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Finale. The day culminated with students in grades 6-8 performing the dance sequence that was learned in the dance workshop accompanied by a group of student percussionists from the musical instruments workshop.

Enjoy selected videos from the day below.