Thursday, March 31, 2005
Today we did it again. We sat down, four of us, and discussed several plans which we can do in the coming holidays two weeks from now. We checked the hotel prices and we planned where to go and what to see. It is the best thing about europe that you can have a lot of opportunities to see lots of places. But I think even if we don't do any of these trips which we might I would enjoy every one of these discussions. Even if I go to Barselona or Paris or Venise I would enjoy it as much as I do now. Being with some of the nicest people that can be found and talking with them, joking, laughing and discussing different beautiful places or going to see them. What difference do these two options really make? I have seen a lot of places and I know that wherever you go you will find a blue sky above your head and weathers which are very different and at the same time very similar to each other. So the most important thing is the people! The people you are with and the people you meet. This is what I must never forget.
Monday, March 28, 2005
We couldn't have wished for a better weather and in the way back we had a very heavy rain shower which was fun seeing it from the other side of the window inside the car.
Yesterday was really great. Actually more than mountain climbing we actually ate! after three hours walk through really beautiful scenes we stoped to eat lunch. We were seven and so everybody had brought something which was enough for almost fifteen people! Next week we have planned to go some other place and stay for night. I really like 2-day programs with camping. I am just waiting for my friend to send me the pictures we have taken with his camera.
Today probably we will go to see "Million Dollar Baby" with two of my friends. I have seen "Aviator" and it really disappointed me. I had more expectations from Scorsese. But about this one, I must say "Mystic River" was a very powerful movie and it seems that Eastwood is getting better in his seventies! Amasing! But the french cinema is something esle. The previous day I saw "La Fleur du Mal", a film by Claude Chabrol. At the first glance it may seem a very simple thriller movie, but when the film finishes you start discovering hidden layers of this film which shows the scandals in fifty year history of a wealthy french family.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Since yesterday the holidays of Paques (french name of Easter) has started. A week ago, when at the time of the new year start, we were in Albi, a beautiful small french town, we saw that they have celebrated a celebration or what they call "féte des mort" or celebration of the dead. It was one week before paques. It was interesting for me that even in this celebration how much there are similarities between different nations. Before the start of the new year, in the last Thursday of the year, it is a tradition to go to cemeteries and show our respect for those who are no longer among us.
Yesterday in the restaurant of our university I was talking to a belgian friend of mine which I have found recently and at the end we amazingly discovered the huge amount of similar things between us. But it is really natural, because they all come from the same origin and all of our basic civilization realities come from the great civilizations of the dawn of human civilization, Chinese, Indian, Egyptian and the civilizations in the lands which are now called
Tomorrow I am going to mountain climbing after months! After coming here there has been no opportunity for me to go mountain climbing. I have really missed it. I hope I am not too out of shape. But the people who are coming are really great people, some of the best Iranians in this city. The drawback is that after several days of sunny and warm weather it is now raining in here. But it is a good thing to keep the spirit. The worse the weather the better! We will have to deal with harder situation and naturally we will have more fun and we will enjoy it more.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
In the last post the thing I forgot to tell about the Haft-Sinn is the apple. Actually apple is not part of the seven special things, but it is usually present in Haft-Sinn just as a sign like the goldfish or the mirror. And the water which people bring from the rivers or springs is also a sign and usually is used to water the "Sabzeh" throughout the Norooz celebration until "Sizdah-be-dar".
So I left writing about Norooz right at the moment when the old year is going to change to new year. At that time the family gathers around the Haft-Sinn and waits the new year to start. Then the parents give their children the first gift of the year which is usually money, because Iranians believe that how your year will be depends on how you start the year. After kissing each other and congratulating the beginning of the new year if they were the younger members of the family they start their Norooz visits with the oldest member of the family and the next few days are spent visiting every friend or relative that they care about. So in these days I get to know some of my far relatives that I might not see them through the whole year. The best things in these visits are the "Eidi"s which the children and younger people get and also I must say so many different and delicious kinds of cookies and sweets. So it is really hard to visit different people the whole day and being offered different cookies and drinks and to be able to control yourself not testing all of them. These days are really relaxing, seeing people in their best clothes in their cars driving gently and everybody is kind to each other. The rest of the Norooz holidays until Sizdah-be-dar is spent in different ways, but most of the families plan a trip to go see other places. So usually
And at last comes the last day of Norooz celebration. "Sizdah-be-dar" verbally means to pass the thirteenth. It is the thirteenth of Farvardin(First month of Iranian year). As the ancient Iranians believed that 13 is a number for bad luck they wanted to spend this day in the countryside and outside cities and towns to make sure that this day goes well. Today it is just a chance to go to the countryside along the mountains or the sea and spend this day with friends and families, play and again have a chance to try a lot of delicious foods! But the feeling at the end of this day is not so good because you are dead tired and you know that tomorrow everything is going to start again, the work, the job, the studies… and so it is. But what happens to the Sabzeh? Everybody usually put it in the car and take it with them in Sizdah-be-dar. Wherever there is a river they throw the Sabzeh into the river and the river takes these young wheat plants to wherever it can.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Yesterday, for the first time in my life away from my family in Norooz, I started my new year along with two of my friends visiting a historical beautiful town near
1. "Sabzeh" which is a group of grown wheat seeds tied together
2. "Somagh" (I don't think there is any word for this in English! I have only seen it in
3. "Senjed" (This one I don't know in English! I couldn't find it anywhere)
4. "Sonbol" (lavender)
5. "Sekke" (coin)
6. "Seer" (garlic)
7. "Serkeh" (vinegar)
Other than these as I said there is also gold fish and a mirror which in Iranian beliefs is a sign of prosperity and happiness. It was interesting that yesterday for the first day of the new year, Google had changed its logo in Persian page to a "Haft-sinn"!
Then comes the day for "charchanbeh-soory", the last Wednesday of the year. The night before, usually friends or families gather together to celebrate this night. It usually starts by making a big fire. The scenes seen in that night are always really interesting. When you look along a street or an avenue you see fires in front of most of the houses. And if a fire among them was bigger than the rest, after some time everybody gathers around that fire and start talking to each other. Younger people do fireworks. And everybody jumps over the fire. In
After all of these, the most important day finally arrives. Before this day "haji firooz", usually a thin man with red clothes and painted black face, announces the coming of "Amoo Norooz" (uncle Norooz) which will bring spring with himself. But this "Amoo Norooz" is somehow different with Santa, because in fact he comes mysteriously and nobody knows what he looks like. The only fact is that he is very old!!!
But other than these stories, Norooz itself is a very precise time. Actually Iranian calendar seems to be the most precise calendar being used. As far as I know, the Gregorian calendar that is used in every western country has a one-day error in every five hundred years (that is why they skipped the leap year in Y2K). That is one day in every million years for Iranian calendar. And the other thing that I like is the time the year changes. It is not like other countries. It is the time which is exactly the same for everywhere on earth, so in fact everybody can start the new year in the exact same time. The reason for this is that this precise time is based on the movement of earth around the sun and it is the time when the earth passes the Vernal Equinox of its orbit around the sun. This is good because everybody around the globe can celebrate an exact time together and it is in fact the real start of spring.
I think I'm now in the halfway of the story, so I leave writing the second part for tomorrow!
Sunday, March 20, 2005
The best weather in the world! These last few days have been very good in the sense of weather. Yesterday I simply couldn't sit down and went right outside to walk and run along this beautiful canal by my residence. Under the shadow of leafless trees with a very gentle breeze that touches and coddles your skin when you run, it is truly tranquil. You see other people running, playing, walking and riding bikes and you start believing that spring has come at last and nature has started to reborn. I really love this time of the year. The few days which remain to the end of Iranian year, before Norooz, everything seems to change and renew and reborn.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Someone has commented that he doesn't agree with me about the racism among French. Actually I don't remember saying that French people are racist. I just guessed the reason for some of the things my Iranian friends had told me.
Well, I think it is time to admit something that is very bitter to say but it is mostly true. That is the fact that Iranians are one of the most –if not the most- racist nations in the world and some of them admit this and the others are possibly just ignorant to this reality. I don't really like to say something general about a nation, so I will rephrase my sentence above. Among Iranians there are many people who make fun of the other minorities living in
But anyway, as I said this is not a general thing and everywhere in every country all around the globe you will find people who don't approve other people other than their own.
So, I was going to talk about French people but I ended up criticizing my own country! It is again the matter of generalization, but the people I have met till now, they have been really good to me and I haven't felt anything. The only people which seems to get some dislike from some French people are the people from
Thursday, March 17, 2005
First of all, I'm really sorry for not writing regularly in here. Well, simply I just don't feel writing sometimes and it gets very hard to push myself to the front of computer and start writing about something that I really don't know what it is.
Any way, I completely agree with you, KL(by the way, what is your complete name or at least something which I can call you by that name?) about the Indian movies. Actually we have a similar term for a similar kind of movies made in
Monday, March 14, 2005
I am back again. For no clear reason, recently suddenly I felt not writing at all. I don't know the reason myself. Tonight I just forced myself to come and write again. Maybe it would help. Three days ago one of my Indian friends invited me to his room to go and watch an Indian movie with him and another friend of ours who is from
Saturday, March 05, 2005
And right now my mobile phone doesn't work since yesterday and I have got a very bad cold and all my body aches and to be honest, I'm not sure what I am writing. So I will be back but just after I feel completely up and going and thirsty to write!