Many people do not know the vast influence of Persian tradition and culture in the world. When traveling in Central Asia several years ago , I realized that most of these countries are also deeply touched by Iranian history and culture . In Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, I realized that Nowrooz was practiced during the first three months of Spring. They had celebrations of all kinds many similar to Iranians. In some Eastern European countries you can also find the footprints of Persian culture, some older generations in the Balkans speak Farsi from the poems of Moulavi.
In addition, now that there are many expatriate Iranians living in Europe and the US , Persian customs are more appreciated and understood in the world.
Here in Tehran , the early signs of Nowrooz begin with Khanetakani or " house cleaning" . Iranians thoroughly clean and throw out the extra items piling up in homes. Its a symbol of preparing for new times and better days. It is also a symbol of the changes we need to bring about in our hearts and minds, we need to mend broken hearts and to heal the scars left behind. In Islamic ethics as individuals we need to revisit our practices and behaviours and to evaluate them on the basis of the religion's teachings , we need to clean the greed, deceit and hatred that plagues our hearts and prepare for an inner Spring and new life.
On the other hand, Nowrooz is the revival of nature after a long winter sleep. Nature displays its goodness and services and we need to use wisely and protect these precious gifts.
The Iranian new year coincides with what is called the Equinox and the true shift in the earth's axis and change in climate. Although today we are experiencing the "anthropogenic climate change phenomena" and for this phenomena humanity is now deeply concerned since it has tilted the balance of the ecosystem.
As you have heard in the news, Khatami officially announced his decline to run for presidency in June. This decision deeply saddened his supporters and the sympathizers of the reform campaign but they understood that Khatami has made a very sound ethical decision. Many analysts believe that this decision has elevated his position and rank among various political groups and figures. He has implicitly indicated that he prefers to support Engineer Mousavi in the upcoming race. Some of his followers will follow course while others might prefer Mehdi Karroubi who was the former Majlis Speaker. In any case, we have to wait at least for two weeks until national holidays are over .