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Central Asian Awareness Day Virtual Program March 20 at UW

March 9, 2021

The University of Wyoming’s Central Asian Student Association (CASA) will celebrate its seventh annual Central Asian Awareness Day and Navruz with a virtual program Saturday, March 20.

This year’s theme is “Virtual Central Asian Awareness Day.” The main program is from 2-3:30 p.m. via Zoom and can be accessed on Facebook at Even though the program is free and open to the public, online registration is required.

Navruz is one of the most treasured holidays in Central Asia, Iran and Azerbaijan, says CASA Adviser Dilnoza Khasilova, a UW project coordinator in the English Language Center.

“Sometimes known as Persian New Year, Navruz is a chance to celebrate nature, to welcome a new year and to enjoy flavorful food with friends, neighbors and family,” Khasilova adds. “Navruz is celebrated on the spring equinox, which is usually March 21. The holiday is celebrated across Iran and Central Asia, all the way to the Black Sea and the Balkans.”

The virtual celebration will feature Feruza Latipova, soloist singer from the group Sitora; Otabek Makhkamov, an actor and blogger; Zamira Salim, a master of Central Asian dance; and Umid Shams, a singer from Uzbekistan.

Salim will lead a dance workshop for anyone at noon, followed by a discussion from Makhkamov at 1 p.m. Singers Shams and Latipova will be featured during the Central Asian Awareness Day program later that afternoon. To register for any of the programs, follow CASA on Facebook.

Also featured during the program will be UW Interim Provost Anne Alexander and Akhor Burkhanov, cultural attaché from the embassy of Uzbekistan in the U.S.

CASA, established in October 2011 as a recognized student organization at UW, was formed to create and promote a better understanding of Central Asia and its rich culture and history among students, faculty and the local community through involvement, as well as participation in various social and cultural activities.

The organization has presented many cultural events on campus and in the community. CASA has been recognized for the top country display during International Education Week at UW three times. The group’s table was voted the best cultural display by organizers of the event.

“By showing Central Asian heritage, our students develop close relationships and deepened intercultural understanding,” Khasilova says.

For more information about Central Asian Awareness Day, email Khasilova at

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