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March 14, 2006

Norooz in Vancouver
On Sun March 12 2006, the Iranian-Canadian community in Vancouver (Canada) staged its annual Norooz street festival. This event was the focal point of a cultural event that brought together Iranians of different religious, ethnic and political backgrounds. Hundreds of Iranians gathered around the main stage and joined in dance and songs. Iranians of different backgrounds sang the Iranian National Anthem 'Ey Iran' on numerous occasions, and displayed the tricolor Iranian flag (with the rising sun and lion holding the sword) . Children and adults alike painted their faces with color of the Iranian flag in a show of unity and pride. The performers played music from different parts of Iran to reflect the multi-ethnic image of our beloved home land. Iranians engaged Canadians of different background in conversations to explain meaning of Norooz as a cultural celeberation. CTV, one of Canada's main networks, covered the event in its 6 o'clock news program and plans to do a follow up story on March 13. Overall, the Iranian Canadian community in Vancouver deserves high praise for its show of unity and solidarity. -- Behshad Hastibakhsh

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