Hundreds gather together for Babylon Day to celebrate Chaldean family, culture and community

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Zakhota Chaldean-American Association in conjunction with city of El Cajon sponsored the second annual Chaldean heritage celebration day held Sept. 3 at the Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon.

Hundreds of attendees filled the promenade to sing traditional folk songs and dance the night away. Devotees purchased raffle tickets to benefit the Zakhota Association to assist the Chaldean population in El Cajon.

Zakhota Chaldean-American Association in conjunction with city of El Cajon sponsored the second annual Chaldean heritage celebration day held Sept. 3 at the Prescott Promenade in downtown El Cajon.

Hundreds of attendees filled the promenade to sing traditional folk songs and dance the night away. Devotees purchased raffle tickets to benefit the Zakhota Association to assist the Chaldean population in El Cajon.

Saviora Sanati, Master of Ceremonies for the Babylon festival, said the event is a great opportunity for friends and family to come together and celebrate.

“We’re just trying to bring the Chaldean people together,” she said. “We don’t have many events as a group, and when we have an event this big and this many people come out its like we’re one big family, which is great for our community. We’re here to love and support one another and it’s events like these that strengthen those bonds.”

Chaldean business, social and religious leaders have taken it upon themselves to maintain the Babylonian spirit by ramping up efforts to educate the Chaldean youth, raised predominately in the United States, about their culture and heritage. 

Father Noel Gorgis, Saint Peter Chaldean Catholic Cathedral, said he is very happy that the celebration of Babylonian people continues to be passed to the newer generations. 

“We consider El Cajon our city now, its our home,” he said. “We come here and we sing to traditional Chaldean and Aramaic music and perform traditional dances. It’s the way we celebrate the culture and education of the Chaldean people.”

El Cajon has become the mecca for the fast-growing Chaldean population. According to the U.S. State Department, Chaldean immigrants are the fastest growing population in San Diego County, a majority whom have settled in El Cajon. 

The growth of the Chaldean population in East County continues to grow even several years after the invasion by U.S. troops of their native Iraqi homelands.

Festivities went throughout the evening in a culture of celebration and heritage of the people . This community event was open to the public and a place for people to come and witness the culture of Babylon.