Sunday, March 27, 2011

Power of Technology

MaryAnn brought up something in writing class that took me back to 2008, probably the worst year of my life for many reasons. So many things went wrong that year, but one of the most significant ones was my friend's death.

I lost my friend, Zohreh, to cancer in April 2008, and even though I was happy that she wasn't suffering anymore, I had a hard time dealing with the whole situation - hospitals, loss, funeral, ... - and experienced some kind of trauma for a few months after it was over.

One day, I was looking at my cell phone and saw her name on my cell phone contact list. I pressed "delete" to erase her number and I was surprised that I wasn't able to answer the question that followed, "Delete contact from phone book?" I felt that if I pressed "yes," I would be killing her all over again, maybe from my memory - not my phone's.

Eventually, I ended up deleting her name and number from my phone many months later, but a very strange feeling accompanied that moment, a feeling of betrayal and disrespect, like I was deciding that it was time to forget her. Logically, I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong; I simply didn't need to keep a number which was probably reassigned to someone else by then.

I thought about this for a while and then forgot about it. When MaryAnn talked about her experience a few days ago, I started to think about the power of technology. How powerful is technology?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nowruz & HaftSeen

“Nowruz” is made of two words: Now (new) + Ruz (day).
This is the name of the new year celebration as well as the name of the first day of the Iranian new year which is also the first day of spring and is usually celebrated on March 20th or March 21st.

“Haftseen” is a major tradition of Nowruz, the Iranian new year.
“haft” means seven; “seen” is the sound of the letter “s” in Persian (Farsi)
The haftseen table includes seven specific items, all starting with the letter S or Seen.
The items symbolically correspond to seven creations.
sabzeh – wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish – symbolizing rebirth
samanu / samanoo – a sweet pudding made from wheat germ – symbolizing wealth
senjed – the dried fruit of the oleaster tree – symbolizing love
sîr – garlic – symbolizing medicine
sîb – apples – symbolizing beauty and health
serkeh – vinegar – symbolizing age and patience
sekkeh – coins – symbolizing prosperity and wealth