Ashur Drama Group
Come Back To Me
come come to me my darling
why don't you come back to me
I want you to teach me Assyrian
Alap Beet Gammal Dalat
Heh, Waw, Zain, Khet, Tdet,
Yodh, Kap, Lammad, Meen, Noon, Simkat
Ei, Peh, Sadeh, Qop, Resh, Sheen, Taw
teach me how to dance SHAY-KHAA-NEE (a dance step)
KHI-GAA YAA-QOO-RRAA, BI-LAA-TEE (dance steps)
teach me how to make BOO-SHAA-LAA (yogurt soup)
?? DIKHWAA POKHEH also DOL-MAA (? and stuffed grape leaves)
MAA-SHEH, RRI-ZAA, KU-RRAA, BOM-YAA (beans, rice, okra, ?)
teach me make tea with SEE-MAA-WAAR (Samovar)
also make DO-WEH from yogurt (cold yogurt drink)
tell me about Nineveh and Babel
teach me what is KHA B' NEE-SAAN (Assyrian New Year)
the great history of Assyria
tell me what is EE-DAA SOO-RRAA (Christmas)
why make KI-LE-CHEH EE-DAA GOO-RAA (a pastery on Easter)
and what is CHAA-LOO SOO-LAA-QAA (Bride and Ascension festival)
why you break eggs in Easter
in NOO-SAAR-DIL spray water on each other (Nusardil festival)
SHAY-KHAA-NEE = an Assyrian dance step
KHI-GAA YAA-QOO-RRAA = an heavy Assyrian dance step
BI-LAA-TEE = an Assyrian dance step
BOO-SHAA-LAA = a white creamy yogurt soup
?? DIKHWAA POKHEH
MAA-SHEH = beans
RRI-ZAA = rice
KU-RRAA = okra
SEE-MAA-WAAR = a large Russian teapot
DO-WEH = a white cold yogurt drink
KHA B' NEE-SAAN = first of April. Assyrian New year celebrated for 12 days.
EE-DAA SOO-RRAA = Chirstmas
EE-DAA GOO-RAA = Easter
KI-LE-CHEH = a small pastery dish baked with flour and dates
CHAA-LOO SOO-LAA-QAA = Bride and Ascension festival
= Nusardil = a day where people spray water for an Assyrian Christian
festival commemorating mass baptisms by Jesus and the apostles
Breaking eggs in Easter is a symbol Jesus breaking out of his grave.
MSHEE-KHAA QEE-ME-LEH = Christ is resurrected is said during the tap
is played as a game to see who is the last one left with an intact egg
after each person taps their egg on another is said to have good luck
in the future.
The egg represents the boulder of the tomb of Jesus
CHAA-LOO SOO-LAA-QAA = Bride and Ascension festival (decorated bride)
Feast of the Lord’s Ascension (Kaloo Soolaqa)
By: Fr. Kando D. Kando
Church of the East and the Assyrian Nation around the world Celebrate the festival of Kaloo Soolaqa (BRIDE & ASCENTION)
This festival is one of the seven “Feasts of our Lord”
ܥܐܕܹܐ ܡܪܢܿܝܹܐ that are confessed by the adherents of the Assyrian
church of the East, that dates back to the first Christian century and
established by the Apostles of Jesus Christ in the “Cradle of Mankind”
Bet-Nahreen of today.
Kaloo Soolaqa (Bride and Ascension) is
observed in honor and remembrances of the Ascension of Christ into His
heavenly kingdom, (Lock 24. 50-51) following forty days after his
miraculous resurrection. The other Six Lord’s festivals are dedicated
in reverence to the glory of His: 1- Nativity, 2-Epiphany,
5-Resurrection and 6- the Feast of the Invention of the Cross symbol of God’s power (see 1. Corinthians 1.18)
Festival of the Ascension was called Kaloo Soolaqa because the “Bride”
represents the Church and Jesus the “Groom.” Furthermore, in the 13th
Century, as the Mongols began their conquest into Bet-Nahreen
(Mesopotamia) today’s Iraq, the festival of Kaloo Soolaqa became a
national recognized holiday that was observed by the entire Assyrians
nation. Historical facts support the events that occurred during the
intervention by the Mongols into the land of Atur. The documents that
were recorded by the Patriarchal See of Mar Makikha ( patriarch of the
Assyrian Church of the East) in the years 1257-1265 A.D. told a tale of
heroism that has taken root in the hearts and mind of every living
Assyrian. The Invasion of the Mongols commenced from the south and up
to, and through Baghdad. City after city fell and surrendered to the
relentless and overpowering domination of the Mongols. As the offensive
moved further towards a province ruled by the Assyrian chieftain named
Malik Shallita, the enemy was met with a resistance that defied logic.
The inferior power was strengthened to withstand and bring an end to
the tyranny of the superior might of the enemy by the means of the most
basic human instincts.
As Malik Shallita became aware of the
imminent attack, he vowed to defend his people and their Christian
faith with the last blood drop of his nation. His wife, Sharbai,
assisted in the strategy to impede the impending invasion by dressing
their young daughter, named Shwikhta, (Gloria) into bridal gown and
head veil. Sharbai took her daughter Shwikhta to the front line that
was protecting their land so that the defenders would comprehend the
purpose of their mission. Shwikhta’s appearance as a bride served to
motivate the gallant Assyrian warriors to defend the innocence and
purity of the children of their nation, as well as symbolically, the
church (the bride). Then Mothers throughout the province followed suit.
Their renewed determination disheartened the enemy in accomplishing
their objective. The Mongols became extremely frustrated by their
failure to advance thus retreated in shame. The news of this great
victory in its ability to repel the attack spread throughout the land.
It was said that, the “Bride” was protected by the defenders of the
Henceforth, the inhabitants of the Land of Atur
(Assyria), the first nation utterly converts to Christian faith, marked
this glorious occasion by marching out of their villages to participate
in the annual festival of “Kaloo Soolaqa.” Their path was led by
hundred of young girls, dressed in their bridal gowns and veils,
towards the shady campground of the “Garden of Eden”. This paradise on
earth was located in Bet-Nahrain Land of Atur see Genesis 2. 8-12. the
garden was adorned by gigantic fruit trees in their ultimate blossoming
period, in the season of spring.
Following the celebration of the
holy Mass, after reaching the campgrounds, everyone would celebrate in
a great feast that included a traditional Sheera d’khalwa (rice/milk
soup or Gerdo ) this was followed by line dancing not only young girls
and boys but even the oldest, where everyone stands side-to- side and
hand –to-hand and dances in a circle that is as big as a football
Finally, the celebration concluded by the participants,
whether young or old, taking terms in sitting on a swing that hung from
ropes attached to the large fruit trees within the Garden of Eden. The
swing’s motion, forward and up to the heaven, symbolized the honor
being bestowed upon the Ascension of Jesus into His heavenly kingdom.
Assyrians are the indigenous inhabitants of Bet-Nahrain Mesopotamia.
They are the models and symbols of the antiquities of today’s Iraq. In
keeping with their traditional values and Christian faith, they
continue to demonstrate their dedicated devotion and observe the
festival of their forefathers and their beloved Assyrian Church of the
East. Therefore, these festivals are sponsored by various Assyrian
organizations and local churches throughout the United States, Canada,
Europe, Russia, and especially at the mountainous villages of Atur
unjustly called Kurdistan.
NOO-SAAR-DIL = Nusardil
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (June)
an Assyrian Christian festival commemorating mass baptisms by Jesus and the apostles
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (June)
Christians celebrate Nusardil to commemorate the church's baptism
ceremony. But the origins of the ceremony are said to date to
pre-Christian times. Assyrian pagans worshipped gods of fire, air, and
water. Sprinkling water on the path of a pagan religious procession was
a common practice meant to show respect. When St. Thomas converted the
Assyrians to Christianity in the first century c.e., he resorted to a
mass baptism because of the many people involved. His splashing of
water on a crowd of people, combined with the earlier pagan tradition,
led to the current practice.
participants splash or spill water on each other in a ritualistic way.
Even those not associated with the celebration may get splashed for
fun. Today, children also use squirt guns or similar devices to spray
water on each other and on their elders. While the ceremony has its
serious side, it is also a lighthearted occasion. Assyrian churches in
America will often have a picnic on Nusardil. Food and a variety of
outdoor games are combined with the water splashing ceremony.
NOO-SAAR-DIL = Nusardil
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (June)
Nusardil: the Assyrian Water Festival
Mikhael K. Pius
If you are “baptized” on Nusardil Day, grin and bear it with a chuckle!
or “Musardy” or “Nusardy” as popularly called, is a water festival, one
of the many traditional feasts observed by the Assyrian people. It is
celebrated in summer.
People, particularly young ones, go around
with water-filled receptacles of various shapes and sizes and sprinkle
or splash each other. Even non-Assyrian strangers are not spared. They
often catch their “victims” unaware by sneaking up on them. Although
those wetted are often startled out of their skin, they are expected to
tolerate the “disaster” with grace, indicated by a grin or chuckle.
was a popular event in Assyrian settlements in the Middle Eastern
countries. It was well observed in closely-knit communities in Iraq,
such as in Gailani Camp in Baghdad, in Kirkuk, and in Habbaniya. In the
latter Armenians as well as some Arab, Kurdish, and Indian children
also participated. It was also celebrated in other Assyrian town and
village communities, including those in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and
perhaps even in Russia. And following the Assyrian evacuation of
Habbaniya in the late 1950s, the festival was celebrated in the
several-thousand strong Assyrian community of Dora, a suburb of
Although the time and custom of celebrating the event
was the same everywhere, the form of practicing it somewhat differed
from community to community. Normally people, especially younger ones,
chased each other on the streets and in alleyways and played water on
each other. Some did this individually and some in “gangs.” But in some
communities where rooftops were flat and attached to each other, some
people sneaked from one rooftop to the other to splash the people down
below, in the yards or on the alley or street. The festival usually
lasted from morning till noontime. When the sun got very hot, most
participants broke up and went home.
Some villagers made a
holiday out of it, celebrating it in large groups, along with a
frolicsome picnic, in fields or in orchards. The festival is now
observed in a similar manner in the Turlock-Modesto area of California,
but in a “modern” way. A picnic is held by a club in a public park for
the whole Assyrian community (for a nominal entrance fee) and the
sprinkling is done, mostly by youngsters, by modern sprinkling guns and
On this day the club provides hot and cold
drinks and sandwiches or grilled meat for sale as well as a musical
band along with one or two of the Assyrian popular singers to enliven
the event. A multitude of people flock to enjoy the festive picnic. The
older ones (mostly wet!) enjoy listening to song and music, watching
khigga dancing while eating (or savoring the aromatic smell of sizzling
and smoking kababs!), drinking and chatting away the hours under cool
shade of trees. The younger folks mainly enjoy dancing and frolicking,
while the little ones have fun by chasing and sprinkling each other and
screaming and laughing to their hearts’ content. The occasion is also
springtime for those young men and women, whose blood is bubbling and
whose hearts are brimming with elated romantic notions!
Nusardil picnic is usually videotaped, along with relevant interviews
with some of the participants, and is shown on the club’s local weekly
one-hour TV program. Most people enjoy the opportunity to appear as
well as watch themselves on TV. The club that focuses more on this
tradition is the Assyrian American Association of Modesto. Their
purpose, they say, is to promote our customs and traditions and to
encourage our youth to practice them.
Nusardil is observed
annually. The seventh Sunday after Pentecost, it usually falls in July
about 100 days after Easter. It is said that this custom is an old
tradition that has come down to us from our ancestors.
ancient Assyrians had many gods—god of fire, god of sun, god of water,
and so on—which were represented by different statues or symbols and
were revered and celebrated in different ways. One form of celebration
was by sprinkling of water. These representations were paraded in a
procession through the city during national holidays or special
festivals. The citizens who lined the streets to watch and to pay
homage would sprinkle water on the path of the procession as a sign of
their reverence, loyalty, and joy.
After the Assyrians embraced
Christianity, they retained, modified, and gave a Christian meaning to
some of these ancient Assyrian customs and traditions during the
ensuing centuries. Nusardil is one of them. When they were evangelized
in the first century A.D. by St. Thomas, it is said that because of the
large number of people involved, the Apostle baptized en masse. He
blessed water and sprinkled it over groups of crowds. This practice may
have led to the tradition of Nusardil.
Baptism was, of course,
initiated by John the Baptist. He baptized Jesus Christ, who in turn
commanded His Disciples to go out and baptize all peoples.
Apparently Nusardil is celebrated by Assyrians in commemoration of the Christian baptism.
“old timers” take the tradition for granted because we have seen and
experienced Nusardil in our former homelands. But our children and
grandchildren who have been born or raised in these Western countries
do not know it, unless some have heard about it from their elders. But
they are now learning to practice it and are enjoying it as well as
absorbing its spirit.
But the most important aspect of such
celebrations is that we are not only encouraging our people to keep our
customs and traditions alive in this country, but are also instilling
in our youth the importance and value of such heritage.
coming with the territory is the opportunity for Assyrian young men and
women to meet and—who knows—some might even feel the Cupid’s arrow in
their hearts and hear wedding bells in their ears!