By Ali May, London Correspondent
20/03/12 17:32 CET
Norouz has a special place in most Iranian hearts. It is not like a religious Eid that only the faithful celebrate, or a state-sponsored political event that only attracts the jubilation of a specific part of the population. This is the one time that everyone comes together in celebration.
The Iranian love affair with Norouz goes a long way. Some would like to say it is a tradition that has been celebrated for the past 7,000 years, therefore it carries a lot on its shoulder of the collective sense of being one people. Others would think it suffices to have two weeks off and enjoy the company of loved ones.
President Obama has addressed Iranians every year with a Norouz message. This year’s message bore similarities to ones of yesteryear, wishing Iranians prosperity and better days. But it had a special focus: the electronic curtain around the country.
Obama blamed the Iranian regime for imposing limitations on what the people can see and say in order to protect its power. “Technologies that should empower citizens, are being used to repress them,” he said in regards to monitoring electronic communications.
“Because of the actions of the Iranian regime, an electronic curtain has fallen around Iran; a barrier that stops the free flow of information and ideas into the country and denies the rest of the world the benefit of interacting with Iranian people who have so much to offer.”
Watch President Obama’s Norouz message here:
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke of a year in which his country was under pressure, yet “in spite of all the hardships, we made great achievements last year”. He had named the previous year one for “economic jihad,” one of hard work for improving the economic prospects.
Economy was the crux of his argument this Norouz and he called the New Year one for “national production and supporting Iranian labour and capital”.
“If we manage to increase our domestic production, the issue of inflation will be resolved, the issue of unemployment will be resolved and our economy will be strengthened in the real sense of the word, which will disappoint the enemy,” he said in his Norouz message broadcast on state television.
Norouz is a Persian word that literally means new day. It is the time of year when Vernal Equinox takes place and Spring officially begins. It is celebrated by more than 300 million people across the world, in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia and Uzbekistan.
This song by Farhad is the ultimate narrative of what Norouz means to a child and guarantees nostalgia for any Iranian:
By Ali May, London CorrespondentMore about:
- 1Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 2Greek debt: who will pay if Greece fails?
- 3Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 4Saakashvili warns of Odessa region’s importance to Ukraine
- 5Tsipras says if Greeks approve the EU’s aid plan, Syriza will resign
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Greek debt crisis is “absolute supremacy of capital over humans”
- 3[Live updates] NGO flotilla bids to break Israeli blockade of Gaza
- 4[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 5Large Hadron Collider ready to embark on an unprecedented voyage of discovery
- 6Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 7[LIVE UPDATES] France: man decapitated, several wounded in chemical plant attack
- 8Israel prepares to repel boarders as ‘Freedom Flotilla 3’ tries to run Gaza blockade
- 9Greek debt summit – Live updates
- 10Spain’s first case of diphtheria in 30 years: parents of six-year-old ‘oppose vaccines’
- 11‘Distractingly sexy’ scientists hit back in lab chemistry polemic
- 12NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 13Summit up in Brussels as Greek proposals give food for thought and rumours fly
- 14Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 15Battle of Waterloo, live-tweeting 200 years on
- 16Greek PM faces day of crucial bailout talks in Brussels
- 17Citizens take power in Spain’s largest cities as a political revolution sweeps the country
- 18Greek debt: who will pay if Greece fails?
- 19Italy discovers biggest illegal waste dump in Europe
- 20Hungary: billboard war sparks international concern
Latest world news
France and Germany expect ‘credible’ proposals from Greece
Euclid Tsakalotos sworn in as new Greek finance minister
Iran optimistic of leap in growth once out from under sanctions
Spain open to new Greece bailout talks post-referendum
Many Greek businesses struggling to pay state taxes
Wires > News
- 21:03 CET Four teachers among six Israeli-Arabs charged for promoting…
- 20:52 CET EU approves 1.15 billion euro aid package for West Africa
- 19:42 CET Chicago’s Fourth of July rituals – fireworks, gun deaths
- 19:32 CET 800 million still hungry and poor despite progress of millennium…
- 19:20 CET Bulgaria eyes Poland fighter deal to cut dependence on Russia
- 19:04 CET Insight – Iranian nuclear deal set to make hardline Revolutionary…
- 18:52 CET Cash urged for schools in crisis zones as refugee numbers surge
- 18:49 CET Zimbabwe’s Mugabe moves ‘devil incarnate’ information minister in…