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 Correspondent
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel
- 2Algeria: Frenchman ‘kidnapped by ISIL splinter group’ appears in video
- 3Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’
- 4Poroshenko declares war in east Ukraine “impossible to win by military means alone”
- 5Greece: homeless people lead tours of Athens’ back streets and alleys
- 1[As it happened] Still United Kingdom: Scottish voters reject independence
- 2Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin
- 3Ukraine: Donetsk rebel weapons factory blows up
- 4France launches initial airstrikes against IS and promises more to come
- 5Air France pilots to continue strike over low-cost plans
- 1Podemos: Spanish indignation in Brussels’ corridors of power | euronews, reporter
- 2Israel announces it will seize 400 acres in West Bank | euronews, world news
- 3Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin | euronews, world news
- 4Japan sounds bluefin warning, calls for 50% catch cut | euronews, world news
- 5Hoverbike on the horizon | euronews, hi-tech
- 6Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’ | euronews, world news
- 7China executes eight Muslims convicted of terrorism | euronews, world news
- 8New car offers freedom for disabled drivers | euronews, hi-tech
- 93D printing: a driving force in design and engineering | euronews, hi-tech
- 10Rise of the machines | euronews, futuris
- 11Ukraine accuses Russian aid convoy of stealing factory equipment | euronews, world news
- 12Young Yazidi girl escapes Islamic State kidnappers | euronews, world news
- 13Ukraine: Donetsk rebel weapons factory blows up | euronews, world news
- 14EU leaders name Donald Tusk European Council president | euronews, world news
- 15The business benefits of EU chemical regulation | euronews, business planet
- 16#Indyref Live: Scotland votes on independence from UK | euronews, world news
- 17Canada sends hilarious barb to Russia over Ukraine ‘incursions’ | euronews, world news
- 18Official ‘executed by flame-thrower’ over links to Kim Jong-un’s purged uncle | euronews, world news
- 19Thousands of Catalans call for choice on split from Spain | euronews, world news
- 20Iceland puts on a show as two of its volcanoes spew out lava | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 07:47 CET China court sentences Uighur scholar to life in prison for…
- 07:30 CET Israeli troops kill Hamas men blamed for slaying teens – army
- 07:28 CET U.S., Arab partners launch first strikes on IS in Syria
- 07:26 CET China court sentences Uighur scholar to life in prison for…
- 07:24 CET Sultan seen setting risky precedent in Malaysia opposition crisis
- 07:19 CET U.S., Iran seek common ground against militants, but doubts persist
- 04:55 CET About 100 climate protesters arrested in march on Wall Street
- 04:07 CET India’s Modi to get rock star reception in New York