Friday, February 24, 2006

Nowruz

In case you didn't know, we are an international family. I was born in Iran and Steve is Italian/Danish/American. So, now we have these kids that are half Iranian and half EuroAmerican. Every now and then, someone will ask me a question like, "Do you speak Farsi to your kids?" The answer is no... Only because I don't really speak it much myself. I am almost fluent orally, however the only time I ever speak it is to certain family members. English was my first language, the one that comes naturally to me and the one I think in. It doesn't stop with the language though... Since I've not been back to the mother land after escaping the madness in 1979, I haven't done much to go back to the roots for myself, or my kids.

Lately, I've been inspired. Particularly by Fatemeh of
gastronomie. I came across this blog while looking for a recipe for gormeh sabzi. While browsing this blog, Fatemeh had some photos and information about the upcoming holiday Nowruz or Nowrooz, (depending on how you choose to spell it) otherwise known as Persian New Year . Nowruz falls on the first day of spring (in Iran). This year, Los Angeles will celebrate it at 10:30am on Monday, March 20th. I have a lot of fond memories of this holiday. Mainly as a child, I looked forward to skipping school, being with my family and receiving monetary gifts. Another tradition that I loved, was the requirement to wear something new on that day. What young girl wouldn't love that tradition?! As I got older, I realized more and more that this holiday was the equivalent to Christmas in the western world in terms of uniting families and symbolism.

Like most holidays, Nowruz has a recongizable symbol which is called the haft sinn.

"Haft Sinn, the heart of the Persian New Year
Every tradition has a material
element that symbolizes that holiday to its followers. The Christmas Tree,
Easter Basket, Shamrock... you might even call them the very best marketing
icons around.
Well, for Persian people the world over, the Haft Sinn (or
"Haft Seen"), an "altar" of seven (haft) things starting with the Farsi letter
sinn, is the immutable, immediately recognizable symbol of Nowrooz."


Seeing this beautiful display on Fatemeh's blog has inspired me to do the same this year. I'm not sure how far I'll get, but I'm going to try. Look for photos and updates in future posts. Until then, you can work on practicing your greeting "Sal eh now mobarak!"

1 comment:

Fatemeh said...

Hi there! I was doing a technorati search of links to Gastronomie and I found your post.

I am so touched by this, and I hope you continue to be inspired to set a haft-sinn. The symbolism, IMHO, is so beautiful and so meaningful.

And, of course, don't forget to drink a bit of scalded milk next year at "tahveel"!