Iranian-Canadian and Jewish-Canadian communities celebrate traditions together
Federal Liberal Candidate for Thornhill Karen Mock acts as Queen Esther alongside Richmond Hill MPP Reza Moridi during a 'shpiel' or play on the story of Purim
The first Purim/Nowruz fusion celebration was “absolutely wonderful” said Federal Liberal Candidate for Thornhill and co-host of the event Dr. Karen Mock.
Around 500 guests from the Thornhill and Richmond Hill communities shared traditional Jewish and Iranian song and dance together at the Thornhill Community Centre last weekend in an event that combined the Jewish holiday of Purim with the ancient Iranian New Year celebration.
“It over passed our expectations,” said Mock. “It was a wonderful turnout.”
At least 500 members of the Iranian-Canadian and Jewish-Canadian (not to mention the Jewish-Iranian Canadians), communities in Thornhill and Richmond Hill gathered for the unique event at the Thornhill Community Centre
The main feature of the afternoon was a theatrical play depicting the story of Purim. Mock acted as Queen Esther while co-host and Richmond Hill MPP Dr.Reza Moridi also made a surprise appearance in the play.
“The Iranian Jews particularly appreciated the day because they were able to celebrate Purim, which is their religious festival, but they were also able to celebrate the culture they come from,” said Mock.
“The play itself was amazing,” said Program Manager and Campaign Assistant Sherry Shahlaie. “I didn’t see anyone blinking because they looked like they were having fun.”
Amoo Nowruz, the jolly mythical character that is a favourite among Iranians and non-Iranians alike, poses with politicians and members of the Thornhill and Richmond Hill community at the Purim/Nowruz event at Thornhill Community Centre
Shahlaie was pleased that the event brought the two communities together and said these types of festivities may become normal annual events.
“It’s a peaceful gesture promoting friendship and bringing two communities and cultures together and it’s all great,” said Shahlaie. “Any occasion we get we will try to do more of these things.”
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