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Dennis Earl celebrates Assyrian New Year

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Dennis Earl celebrates Assyrian New Year

Apr-15-2014 at 12:08 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

First graders Ethan Houshiar and Ethan Nissan wave their Assyrian flags with pride at Friday’s celebration at Dennis Earl Elementary.
Dennis Earl Elementary Principal Tami Truax (second from right) tries her hand at traditional Assyrian dancing on Friday.

Dennis Earl celebrates Assyrian New Year
By Elizabeth Arakelian. Turlock Journal, March 21, 2014.

While Assyrians may not have a country, they do have a close-knit community to call home in Turlock.

Often mistaken as Syrians, Assyrians are not from Syria but rather ancient Mesopotamia. Next to Chicago, Stanislaus County is one of the most populated regions that Assyrians call home. On Friday local Assyrian students had the opportunity to celebrate their culture at Dennis Earl Elementary, the school with the highest number of Assyrian students in the Turlock Unified School District. As Friday marked the 6764 Assyrian New Year, the local Assyrian students gathered to present their heritage and invite other students to join in on the festivities.

“As Christian Assyrians we are happy to be in America and have the freedom of religion and speech that this multicultural country offers.”
— Caty Nariman
“As Christian Assyrians we are happy to be in America and have the freedom of religion and speech that this multicultural country offers,” said Caty Nariman, Dennis Earl community liaison and coordinator of the event. “You can feel the diversity at the local level and the national level, and we’re grateful for that.”

Dennis Earl students celebrated the Assyrian New Year, which coincides with the beginning of springtime, with a processional led by an Assyrian queen while students of all grades followed waving the Assyrian flag. The younger students each exhibited a letter of the Assyrian alphabet, which is read in reverse, and all students practiced a few Assyrian words. Older Earl Elementary students read a brief history of the Assyrian culture before joining in on several performances by locals of the Assyrian community.

During the entire event students held hands, which reflects the unity and community inherent in Assyrian culture. Principal Tami Truax even tried her hand at the traditional dances, much to the joy of her students who cheered her on.

“I am so thankful to Dennis Earl and especially our staff and dear principal Tami Truax for agreeing to celebrate the Assyrian New Year,” said Nariman.


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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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