This week I have been participating in Persian new year celebrations! Last week was the Chahārshanbe-Sūri or “Wednesday Feast” which takes place on the last Tuesday night of the year. There were fires set up and we danced around them and also jumped over them. It was explained to me that we jump over fires to try to catch the red of the fire for wellness, and to give the yellow back to the fire. It was one of the most fun experiences I have had in a long time. Here are some photos:

We finished the night off sitting around a big fire and smoking traditional ḡalyān (hookah, shisha, whatever) and listened to some people sing songs. Here is also a video someone grabbed!:

Tonight is the actual new year celebration called Nowrūz but I don’t think we will actually have such a big feast since it is just at the university organized by some students.

It really saddens me when I hear about all the troubles the United States has with Iran, especially coming from people who have likely never met an Iranian. We all have stereotypes which is natural and sometimes the only way we can make judgments about people we do not know. Unfortunately Iranians get a negative stereotype coming from America because our governments are so mad at each other. I have met many Iranians here in Sweden and also in Germany and I am so happy to say that I connect with them sometimes more than people from my own country. Getting to know each one reminds me that a person is a person is a person. We all have different personalities and cultures, but in the end we laugh at the same jokes and help our friends and hurt when we are treated poorly. I have found the Iranians to be some of the most peaceful, friendly, outgoing, and understanding people I have met in my life. It makes me sick to think of the idea if our countries went to war and these awesome normal people suddenly become refugees. I am so blessed to have learned this great lesson about the world, and the difference between a government and its people.


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