Roundup March 19, 2011
Nowruz 1390: At exactly 02:41:30 a.m. on Monday, March 21, 2011, at the spring equinox, the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, will begin. The beloved and celebrated occasion dates back thousands of years and is regarded one of the most prominent symbols of Persian history and culture. Nowruz is not only celebrated in Iran, it is observed in many other countries in the region. With millions of Iranians displaced after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and relocated in different countries of the world, Nowruz is now also vigorously celebrated in many western countries, and heads of states and politicians are now annually congratulating those who cherish the Persian culture on this occasion.
At Balatarin, Nowruz is in the air despite news surrounding calamities such the unfortunate earthquake and tsunami of Japan, the impending war in Libya, civil unrest in Middle Eastern countries, and last but not least, Iran’s very own political developments with the house arrest of dissident leaders and the hundreds of people imprisoned and injured, and the ones who lost their lives since June 2009 and most recently since February.
There were plans to attend the grave sites of those who lost their lives after the 2009 presidential election on the last Thursday of the year. The call also invited all to light candles in their neighborhoods and to chant Allah-o-Akbar at night.
The Nowruz messages of dissident leaders and supporters of the Green Movement and even political prisoners are also featured on Balatarin now. There is genuine sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives, and links about them continue to earn top votes.
Balatarin Users Flex Their Muscles: The new Massoud Dehnamaki film, “Ekhrajiha 3,” has been released. Dehnamaki is a former Basij member who has decided to engage in cultural work for the past several years, and has directed a couple of box-office hits. His new film, “Ekhrajiha 3,” apparently mocks the Green Movement. Some Balatarin users find the notion offensive to the blood of those who lost their lives in the aftermath of the 2009 elections and have decided to boycott the film. It is not yet clear whether the boycott is working, but there are reports that indicate a rival film, “Nader and Simin: A Separation,” is doing a lot better in the box office. It should be interesting to see what happens over the coming days.
A Nowruz Gift: Speaking of films, I leave you with a Nowruz-related film which was posted on Balatarin today. It is called “The Red Wednesday,” directed by Nazanin Shirazi. This film just won the 2011 Farhang Foundation Short Film Award.
Until the next roundup, stay with us and let the dialogue grow!