| Fizah HAB |
IRANIANS all over the world are gearing to welcome spring marked by the start of the Persian New Year called Nowruz.
Ambassador-Designate of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Brunei Darussalam Homeira Rigi said, “Nowruz, which means New Day, is the first day of the Persian calendar month of Farvardin. In Iran and other countries, people welcome spring with the ancient Nowruz celebrations such as visiting relatives and friends, going on trips and spending time in nature as Nowruz is a celebration of renewal and change.”
She made these comments during an interview with the Bulletin at the mini exhibition currently held at the Atrium of The Mall, Gadong.
“Nowruz festivities continue for 12 days and on the 13th day, people go on picnics or parties in a tradition called Sizdah Bedar or “13 in outdoors”. On this day families enjoy the final day of their New Year holidays in the woods, mountains or along streams and rivers to avoid the bad luck associated with the number 13.
“Recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as an ‘intangible cultural heritage of Persian origin’, the festive occasion is one of the most ancient and most cherished festivities which has been celebrated for at least 3,000 years. We hope that through this exhibition people of Brunei would learn more about the places of attraction in the country as well as well as the colourful festivities in Iran, which can attract Bruneians to choose the country as tourism destination.”
The mini exhibition also showcases an example of the Haft Seen table, which usually includes Sabzeh (freshly grown greens), Samanu (a sweet pudding made from germinated wheat), Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic), Somagh (sumac) and Serkeh (vinegar), as well as Al-Quran next to the main Haft Seen items in hopes of being blessed by Allah the Almighty in the year ahead.
Other items, besides a mirror (symbolising cleanliness and honesty), a bowl of water with goldfish, decorated eggs (symbolising fertility) sometimes one for each member of the family, candles (enlightenment and sunrise), coins (representing wealth), dried nuts and fruits and Sonbol (hyacinth) are also included in the Haft Seen display.
During the interview, the Ambassador (designate) also shared her hopes for the future bilateral relations with Brunei. “I am delighted to be chosen to be the new Ambassador-Designate of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Brunei Darussalam as the country is both peaceful and beautiful and shares many similarities with Iran. I hope that the two countries would continue to have a strong bilateral relation especially in economic, religious, social and in tourism fields.”