Thursday, April 19, 2007

Everyone's Excited

Ubuntu website is almost down! I guess there are thousands (or millions) of people around the world who are refreshing the main page (and the download pages) every few seconds. Everyone's expecting the release of Ubuntu 7.04 (codenamed "Feisty Fawn"). The release is due today. Everyone's excited! I can't help not to refresh. I think I should go and read something, just to be away from my computer.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

My birthday cake. The text reads "Kara L'Elektito, Bonan Naski─Łtagon" which in Esperanto means "Dear L'Elektito, Happy Birthday". L'Elektito or Elektito is my Esperanto nickname. It means "(The) Chosen One".

Yesterday was my birthday. My apartment was too small for a party so I invited my friends to a restaurant but before that, they surprised me with a small party at IREJO office. I had a great night. Thanks, everyone.

Friday, April 06, 2007

King of Hearts

April 6, 2000. Tehran. More than 20000 mourners gather as the "king of hearts" is taken to where he should sleep forever.

Mohammad Ali Fardin was born in 1930 in Tehran. He became popular as a wrestler especially when in 1952 he won the silver medal in world freestyle wrestling championship, Tokyo. In 1962, he starred in Cheshemeye Abe Hayat ("The Spring of Life") as his first movie. His performance in Soltan-e-Ghalbha ("King of Hearts") and Ganj-e-Gharun ("Croesus' Treasure") will never be forgotten by the Iranian public.

After the 1979 Islamic revolution he only starred in one more movie, Barzakhiha ("The Damned"), before his films were eventually banned. After that, Fardin retired from cinema and opened a bakery until he died in 2000 of a heart attack.

There are few who had been able to won the hearts of millions of Iranians like Fardin did. While his death was completely ignored by the Islmaic Republic media, more than 20000 people gathered in his funeral.

Fardin wrestling

Fardin and Zohuri in Ganj-e-Gharun "Croesus' Treasure" (1965)

Fardin and Azar Shiva in Soltan-e-Ghalbha "King of Hearts" (1968)

Fardin and Googoosh

Monday, April 02, 2007

Lucky Thirteen

I was going to write a post titled "Unlucky Twelve" yesterday, but it was such an unlucky day that "I had a very bad feeling about it!"

Today is Farvardin 13, aka "Sizdah-be-Dar". I couldn't find a good translation for this phrase in English. It means something like "throw away the thirteen". Sizdah-be-Dar is the last day of the Iranian Norooz festival. Iranians believe it is unlucky to remain at home on this day so almost all people go on picnic. On the picnic, they throw away their Sabzeh, the seeds they grow in a dish as part of Norooz traditions, (usually) into a river.

On Sizdah-be-Dar some people fasten a few grass leaves together. They believe when the knot opens one of their problems will be solved (this is especially done by unmarried girls who think it will help them find Mr. Right).

Another thing some people do is pulling practical jokes or telling others a "thirteen's lie" (it is something very similar to April Fool; Farvardin 13 normally falls on April 2 and in some years on April 1). An excellent example of a thirteen's lie was Shargh newspaper's "lies" two years ago. Shargh, printed a full paper of false news on that day. Some of them, like that the Milad tower is going to collapse due to a technical mistake in its design, were widely believed, although the page was titled "The Thirteen's Lie" (apparently many people had not noticed it!).

Another good tradition many people do is releasing the Norooz gold fish back into rivers.

And, again, we have the story of Islamic Republic's struggle to weaken Iranian traditions. The IRI media forecasted a rainy day (it did rain, but late at afternoon). They also held a Sabzeh Fair on Farvardin 12 so that people would not do the normal tradition of throwing their Sabzeh into rivers. I pointed out Farvardin 12 is an unlucky day; it is the day "they" call The Islamic Republic Day. 28 years ago on such day, Khoemini called for a nation wide referendum in which the large number of ignorant people voted "Yes" to Islamic Republic. I'm curious how many of them had really read the new constitution draft. Anyhow, which one's an unlucky day? The day on which everyone goes out and has fun (and few really believe in the unlucky thirteen), or the day on which one of the most brutal governments of the world officially recognized itself?