March 21 marked the 6764 Assyrian New Year, and local community members honored the event on Saturday at the Assyrian American Civic Club where guests of all ages celebrated Assyrian heritage through traditional dance, food and customs.
“I believe the first Assyrian settlers to this valley came around 1900, so they have real deep, heavy roots along with Swedish immigrants, Portuguese and Latin immigrants too," said Turlock Mayor John Lazar.
The Assyrian American Civic Club was transformed to appear as the ruins of the ancient Mesopotamia with large floral bouquets, draping ribbons form the ceiling in the colors of the Assyrian flag and various spreads of Assyrian cuisine. The annual event is not just an opportunity to celebrate the past of the Assyrian culture, but also a look to the future.
“Our culture is such that we are introverts so we live in this town quietly and we’re not very active. So what we are encouraging our members and our people to do is be more involved; it’s a great community,” said Sam David, president of the Assyrian American Civic Club.