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Kids' Zone Jasmine Dispatch

No More No Ruz
April 15, 2000

Dear Diary,

Today was the thirteenth day of the New Year in Iran. It seemed that everyone in the entire country was outside today, celebrating. We weren't going to sit inside and let the party pass us by, so we set off into the park to join the official Odyssey Seez Deh Bedar, or Thirteenth Day, festivities in the park.

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for larger view
beautiful meal

The park was packed with families picnicking, children playing in fountains, and grandparents on blankets playing cards. Everyone was laughing and enjoying the day. The thirteenth day of the New Year celebration is held almost entirely outdoors. The idea behind this holiday is that thirteen is an unlucky number and no one wants to start off the New Year on a sour note. Families come to the park and "give the grass their troubles."

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Jazz claps at picnic party
My new friend, Ismail spoke to me about this holiday as we dodged oncoming balls from a nearby soccer game. He explained that this was a holiday to avoid bringing bad feelings into one's home, but that the tradition didn't stop there. This was also, he explained, the one day of the year where people make a wish for the things they want to see happen during the rest of the year.

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girls drumming for me
When Ismail left me to find his relatives in the park, I figured I should try to get back to the other trekkers.

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abeja surrounded by kids beautiful background, mountains, trees etc.
As I walked through the park, I was touched by the kindness of the Iranian people. Everywhere I walked, I was offered food, tea, a seat in the shade, or a dance performance. When I saw Kavitha and Abeja at the center of attention of another group of people, we hugged, laughed, and agreed that Iranian people are by far the kindest people we've ever met.


p.s. - Please e-mail me at

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