La Jolla High's Persian Club a learning experience

Persian Club Secretary Neda Amin, President Yasamin Elahi and Vice President Tara Ravanbach pitched in at Club Day. Courtesy: LJHS Persian Club
Persian Club Secretary Neda Amin, President Yasamin Elahi and Vice President Tara Ravanbach pitched in at Club Day. Courtesy: LJHS Persian Club

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By Roger Li

Contributor

La Jolla isn’t known for its ethnic diversity, but the minority groups that exist at La Jolla High are proud of their roots. These feelings have manifested into several cultural clubs on campus, including MEChA, Asian Club, Irish Club and, one of the most active, the Persian Club.

Under the leadership of president and La Jolla High senior Yasamin Elahi, Persian Club has established a positive campus presence. Currently, there are 20 regular members, but the club has been growing ever since it was restarted last year. Each meeting involves a discussion of different aspects of Persian culture, which range from food to holidays to history to contemporary politics.

According to Elahi, the meeting “is a place for people to come and talk about interesting topics relating to their Persian background. (Members) don’t just sit and listen, like many other clubs. It’s an active experience.”

She says, however, that the primary goals of the club aren’t focused on discussions at discussion meeting, but education.

“Our goal is to inform our peers about the Iranian culture,” Elahi elaborated. “We want to shed light on what’s happening across the world, which is sometimes ignored by teenagers.”

Besides education and meetings, La Jolla High Persian Club also participates in traditional Persian events. The most recent was Persian New Year — noruz — which marks the first day of Spring. The charshambe soori, or celebration, of New Year always occurs on the Wednesday before the actual holiday.

This year, the club participated in a charshambe soori at Mission Bay Park. The Persian teens were exposed to a variety of cultural traditions, like jumping over a bonfire to burn away the misfortunes of the past year.

For the future, Elahi hopes to involve the club in more activities with the greater Persian community in San Diego. By bringing members to more celebrations and holidays, she believes that LJHS teens can see “a new side of Iranian life.”

Some of the club members were involved in painting the school's spirit benches with "Free Iran" messages earlier this year.
   
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