Hello everybody, welcome back.
Before we begin today, please allow me to wish you and all your loved ones a very happy and prosperous new year. As you may know, tomorrow, March 20, will be Noruz, the Persian New Year. I am not going to talk much about this occasion but please let me tell you something about the Persian calendar.
One of the students wanted to know the reason I have put ‘the year 2568′ on the Easy Persian homepage, since according to many other websites, the coming year should be ‘1388′.
Before I explain this, please let me humbly request our Muslim brothers and sisters not to side against me. Please read this patiently and be honest in your passing judgement- if any.
By the year 1979 (Western calendar) when the Islamic revolution hit the nation, Iranians had their own traditional Persian calendar according to which the year was around 2536. This traditional calendar, with its own long history, dated back to the time of Cyrus the Great, who was the king of Iran about 2530 years ago during the Achaemenid Dynasty. In very simple and short words, the traditional calendar mirrored 2500 years of history in my country.
In 1979 after the religious government came into power, its leaders, at the top of whom was Khomeini, the Supreme Leader, decided that the old calendar must be replaced by an Islamic calendar to reflect the fact that our country was born again in Islam. Although this Islamic calendar, supported by religious figures, existed during the Shah of Iran, it never took the place of the old one. This new calendar dates back to the time when Prophet Mohammad moved from Mecca to Medina in Saudi Arabia about 1388 years ago. With the old calendar gone, more than one thousand years of our history was wiped off the map of our culture. There is a huge cultural disaster here.
With all my due respect to everybody, I want to say that to me my nation is more important than my religion; I had no idea about my future belief system at the time I was born but I did have a country where I could begin my life. Therefore, belief system is not my first priority. Probably I don’t need to remind you that millions of Iranians, who are homeless today, have fled their motherland because of the belief system imposed on them.
As far as ideology or faith is concerned, I think anybody who says ‘I am the only way’ is an arrogant – or at least, his statement could mislead people. Each person is free to decide what to believe; your faith is your most personal affair. Diversity enriches society.
Probably this confession will upset some of you but, since many want to know, let me tell you that I am neither Muslim, nor Christian, nor Baha’i, nor part of any other religion. I think believing in one particular religion narrows my mind and this will make me look at the world through a particular ‘window’. Although I consider myself spiritual, I don’t like to look at the world around me through any religious window. Instead, I prefer to step out of the house of religions to see the whole picture of my surroundings. I want to choose for myself what I like, not to accept what my parents have chosen for me. I love love. Religions divide people in hatred. To me, turning off my brain and letting my religious leaders decide on what is good for me, is an unforgivable insult to my brain, which is the best member of my body.
Anyway, it seems that I am losing my control! In short, the Islamic government has cut out one millennium from our history and, apparently, most Iranians are not happy with this.
Ok, that was the Persian calendar! Happy the year 2568 to all of you!
The Little Black Fish Page 11 – Lesson 155:
Do you have problems watching the video? Right-click on the link below and choose ‘Save link as’, or ‘Save target as’ to download the clip.
Download black_fish_page_11_w155.mp4 (27 downloads)
Then go to Useful Drills page for the new words.
See you next week,