The Museum on Main in Pleasanton and the local Uyghur community are partnering to celebrate Uyghur culture and raise awareness of Uyghur community and culture genocide in China.

The Celebrate Community Events will include:

Uyghur Nowruz MoM’s Reading Time on March 11.

Uygur Nowruz Family Day on March 21.

A discussion with Uyghur scholar Erkin Sidick on April 25.

“We feel very fortunate to be a part of a diverse community here in Pleasanton and each year we try to highlight that diversity with our celebrate community partnerships and programs,” said Sarah Schaefer, director of education for the Museum on Main. “This year we are honored to be spotlighting the local Uyghur community and helping to raise awareness of the plight of the Uyghur communities in East Turkistan.”

Uyghurs are ethnically and culturally a Turkic people living in an area of Central Asia that is disputed by the indigenous Uyghur and China. The Uyghur Human Rights Project has documented abuses by the Chinese government, and according to the World Uyghur Congress, the existence of the Uyghur nation is under threat as the Chinese government continues to carry out deliberate policies opposing centuries-old tradition, culture and religion. Human rights violations remain pervasive including persecution on cultural and religious grounds, arbitrary arrests and the silencing of peaceful dissent.” There are an estimated 9 million Uyghurs living in the disputed region of East Turkistan.

The Uyghur Nowruz MoM’s Toddler Reading Time, from 10-11 a.m., will focus on Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, which celebrates the vernal equinox and the coming of spring. Storytellers will read two stories about Nowruz and relate a Uyghur folktale, while youngsters make spring-themed placemats to take home. Attendance is free.

The Uyghur Nowruz Family Day, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., on the Museum on Main’s front lawn, will shed more light on Nowruz and the Uyghur culture as a whole. There will be Uyghur music, dance, hair braiding, crafts, demonstrations, crafts, calligraphy, cross stitching, traditional games, and food from a Uyghur restaurant. “Canada’s Got Talent” runner-up Aygul Memet will perform circus acts and Uyghur dances. Attendance is free.

The hourlong discussion with Erkin Sidick will begin at 5:30 p.m., at the Museum on Main. Sidick, a Nasa scientist and Uyghur expert, will discuss Uyghur culture, language, and the current crisis in China. He has given lectures to raise awareness about the plight of the Uyghur community across the U.S. and overseas. There will be a reception following his presentation. Attendance is free but seats are limited so reservations are required by calling the museum at (925) 462-2766.

The Museum on Main is located at 603 Main Street in historic downtown Pleasanton. For more information, go to www.museumonmain.org.