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Noruz in spirit
"I am going to make a Haft Seen."

March 20, 2000
The Iranian

A few days ago my 17-year-old daughter Mahdiyeh came into my room and said: "I am going to make a Haft Seen."

She sounded very determined. It was as if she felt there would be no Noruz without the Haft Seen and the new year would not feel right at all...

I dropped her off at the mall (where she goes shopping mostly for clothes and assorted make-up accessories about once a week). When I picked her up an hour later, she was carrying a coloring kit: four plastic cups with water colors.

Back home, she took out five eggs from the fridge, dropped them into the cups for a few minutes and then dried them on paper towels.

The eggs sat on the table for three days. There was no more talk about Haft Seen. The Sonbol (Hyacinth) I had bought from the supermarket was sagging in the kitchen. Engaar ghash kardeh bood.

Sunday night, a few hours before Noruz, we had to be at a friend's house for dinner. Before we left, Mahdiyeh asked for my pack of cigarettes. "I need another 'seen'," she said. I was busy in front the computer and wasn't sure what she was talking about.

As we were about to leave the apartment, I noticed that the livingroom table looked different. Mahdiyeh had put together the Haft Seen -- well, kind of. It consists of Sonbol, sekkeh (pennies), sang (stones), eggs and ummm... a pack of Marlboros.

At least she kept the spirit alive...

It's 20 minutes past Noruz. I'm going to wake her up and give her a kiss...

A very happy Noruz to you all,

Jahanshah Javid

PS: Listen to the BBC Persian Service's Noruz report. I hear it's pretty good (RealAudio):

Part one
Part two
Part three

* Jahanshah Javid's index of articles

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