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Persian Party in Review



In celebration of the new exhibition Iran: Wonders of Nature at the Wardlaw Museum, St Andrews Persian Society stirred our excitement through a fusion of “Karaoke, cocktails, dancing and crafts.” Persian Party marked the ultimate nocturnal museum experience  tailoring to both retrophiles and dancing enthusiasts. The tickets, ranging from £6-10 promised a complimentary drink and an evening of propitious activities beginning at 8 pm on Friday, 8 February. 


Inspiring creativity was integral to the event. Arts and crafts activities ranged from designing Persian-style tile magnets to styling your own Persian rug. These personalised, take-home treats embodied the event's themes  the diversity of individual memory amidst collective reminiscence. Additionally, an interactive fabric mosaic of Tehran’s skyline stimulated collaborative inventiveness. Attendees rushed to share their take on the landscape producing a skyline that encompassed all creative memories through erratic colour choices and textile patterns.


However, the notions of collectivity and personal experience fostered within the Persian Party were not grounded upon restriction or exclusivity. Rather, it embraced a welcoming environment through the integrating activities and the wide range of attendees. Students and staff, Persian learners and locals  the turnout was mighty. This ignited both reminiscent conversations over fond memories from home and fervent showings of Persian culture to all those unacquainted. 


Whether you prefer to express yourself through melody, poetry, or prose  your input was appreciated. Upon entry, a karaoke corner immediately livened the scene. Playlists swiftly shifted from Googoosh Makhloogh Persian Karaoke to Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ (not my doing  I promise). In the adjacent room, dance leader Ramin Bozani immersed everyone to give it their all. Despite the lack of a proper dancefloor, the vigorous energy was one I have yet to witness at any Vic night or fashion show afterparty. Lastly, three poetry readings were spread throughout the night, inciting self-expression amidst eager audiences.


“The poetry readings were definitely a highlight,” remarked attendee Matthew Lewis. Having caught wind of the event by his Persian girlfriend, he emphasised the remarkably open atmosphere. Reflecting upon the complementary nature of the event’s venue and activities, Lewis observed how the readings eloquently enhanced the exhibition. Undoubtedly, the stimulating visuals and vocals crafted an encouraging mise en scene where the poetic recounts stood powerfully amidst the splendour of Persian art. 


Coherent to the event’s immersive intentions, a board near the exit was propped up with the sign “What does Iran mean to you?” An array of cards and pens incentivised all to share their experiences and souvenirs. This gave way to sincere emotional accounts (“Wonderful people, outstanding art; the homeland I have never seen”) and alternative heartfelt takes (“Party!”). Overall, the cards marked a symbol of mutual reconnection through shared cultural references, for example, “settle a debate: Ghormeh sabzi or Kabāb koobideh.” For those on the edge of their seats  Ghormeh sabzi won 15-6. 


The diversity of the Persian Party  evident through the themes, activities and people  spurred recurring excitement. It stood as one of the most inclusive and dynamic events of my year, fostering an appreciation for the uniqueness of individual memory through a touching collective experience.


Photo: Hanna Greaves

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