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Posted on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 : 6 a.m.

Persian Family Culture Celebration at Downtown Library Sunday, Oct. 11

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

At the GenAPA cultural show, put on by the Asian Pacific American student groups at the University of Michigan last spring at Power Center, I was completely blown away by the dancing of the Persian Students Association. It was sleek, stylish, sexy, and thoroughly thoroughly modern.

It reminded me how little I really know about other cultures, how I really only pick up snippets from here and there, and how it is so easy to forget that cultures do not stay the same as they were 2,000 years ago, but continue to change with time. When I told my Persian friend, Siamak, about the dance, he said, “Oh, was it like this?” and made a few bobbing dance gestures indicating some (dorky) “traditional dance” he probably had to learn as a boy. No. It was not. It was amazing to see it and feel it and get a sense of it ... .

The Ann Arbor District Library’s family culture celebrations offer a fun and easy way for families to learn about the cultures of our neighbors right here in Ann Arbor. Individuals from the community and the University of Michigan's Persian Students Association will be there. The association it is a non-religious, non-partisan volunteer student organization that sponsors Persian cultural and social events and activities, and works to promote understanding of Persian culture.

Here's some information from the Lbrary's Web site about the event:

"Our next world cultures in Ann Arbor family event focuses on Persia. Young families with grandparents and everyone else are welcome to dance with Pouya Entezami and the Persian Student Association. Then we will mingle and enjoy delicious cookies made by Giti Sadeghi, followed by a craft using Persian rug designs for the children and their grown-ups in the Youth Dept. It's an hour and a half of learning and fun, so please join us at the Downtown Library lower level multi-purpose room, 2-3:30 pm on Sunday, October 11."

The library is at 343 S. Fifth Ave. in Ann Arbor.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village and a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her Web site at, her blog at, and she can be reached at