Norooz, fires, fireworks, and satellite dishes
About three nights ago, the chief of police appeared on television to announce that the police will no longer break up the celebrations that occur on the last Tuesday before the new year. On the last Tuesday before the new year, Iranians (and other Norooz –“new day” – celebrants) light small bonfires and jump over them while shouting: “Take my yellow from me and give me your red.” It is a wonderful celebration that I enjoyed on the beaches near Santa Cruz. The chief announced to all Iranians that the police would view this as a cultural celebration and do what they could to keep it safe and help people enjoy it even more, rather than breaking it up. He went on to announce that the police would no longer raid people’s homes looking for satellite dishes.
Iranians have an open and resilient culture that is unbelievably open to change. (I plan to write a post on this soon. So watch this space…) This is not a static culture or static society. Don’t let the nuclear issue become more important than a true understanding of Iran and Iranian culture. Pay attention, folks.