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article imageOp-Ed: A special event for Kindness is 'NeekOn' comes to San Francisco Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Sep 4, 2015 in Entertainment
San Francisco - Everyone can experience a little more kindness these days, at least that is what one man sees is a higher purpose in life. So much so it has inspired him to organize the first one-day event in Golden Gate Park to call attention to it.
"What's humanity's purpose? There must be a reason why we are here on this earth," said Borhan Oskoorouchi. The 30-something young man's pondering lead him to recognize something simple but profound. "We have become so disconnected and it is easy for people to see one another as being in the way." This was a moment of inspiration, he noted. But the idea to have an event came to him when he visited Toronto for the Tirgan Iranian Festival this past August.
"I was just blown away by the event," he said his voice boisterous with enthusiasm. Then he said, "it just struck me; why not have something like this at home in San Francico! But only better." For Oskoorouchi better means more inclusive, not just a celebration of Persian culture but as he describe it, "cross-cultural, more diverse, that way Persian culture gets to meet the world and the world meets Persia."
The Niosha Dance Academy will be among the many performers at the NeekOn festival this Sept. 26.
The Niosha Dance Academy will be among the many performers at the NeekOn festival this Sept. 26.
Courtesy of NeekOn Festival
This is why the one-day event is called, "NeekOn" "Neek is the Persian word (in Farsi) for Kindness," he said. "I want this event to inspire people raise their consciousness to have more kindness, more happiness and joy in their lives."
He explained further. "We are all so busy and worried and people come and go. But I believe one of the reasons why there is a lack of kindness, said Oskoorouchi, is because we don't raise enough awareness to it." Oskoorouchi believes that if we make time for it, kindness will increase, happiness will increase. "And that will reach out to our families, our friends, help build community."
"It's easy to get caught up chasing after things and thinking others are in our way in rush-hour, he said. He cited some examples, "competitive housing market, jobs and more people being from elsewhere. But I believe even if we are in that state of mind, something as simple as a genuine smile from the person ahead of us in the long grocery line can suddenly create joy out of the same environment." "We then take that joy to our family, friends and communities, he said, and it becomes a different more grateful, happy experience altogether. NeekOn is that smile."
This may seem like a 'tall order' to fill. But so far in addition to getting one of the best venues, Golden Gate Park, he has gathered together a team of 35 volunteers and a committee.
Rana Mansour & Kamkaran will be among the performers at the very first  NeekOn  festival in Golden G...
Rana Mansour & Kamkaran will be among the performers at the very first "NeekOn" festival in Golden Gate Park on Sept. 26
Courtesy of NeekOn Festival
Oskoorouchi admitted it initially took him two years to get the idea off the ground. "but in the past six months as we have been organizing and meeting, things have been moving along towards the goal." A call was put out there for artists, musicians and vendors. So far there will be more than 60 performers, dancers, singers, musicians, visual arts, theater and of course, lots of food.
Oskoorouchi is anticipating a crowd of at least a thousand or more to show up. If the event is successful, he hopes it will become a part of San Francisco tradition. "I will be very happy as people leave the event they will be inspired to bring happiness and kindness with them to their homes and communities." "Neek it's not just an Iranian thing, it is something everyone can share in."
"NeekOn - A One-day event to inspire Kindness through the Arts will be held at the Bandshell and Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park on Sept. 26 from 11: AM to 5:30 PM. Event is free. Some of the performances held inside at Koret Auditorium in the de Young Museum, has an admission/ticket fee. To learn more visit the festival web site.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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