Publish Date : Tuesday 13 March 2012 - 11:18
The latest cultural headlines in the media.
“Temple and Contemplation” hits Iranian bookstores

Tehran Times: The Persian version of “Temple and Contemplation” by Islamic scholar Henry Corbin has been released by the Sufia publications in Tehran.

The book has been translated for the first time in Persian by Ensha’alleh Rahmati who has also written a preface to the book.

The book includes five lectures given by Corbin in meetings of Eranos, an intellectual discussion group dedicated to the study of psychology, religion, philosophy and spirituality, in Switzerland.

“The Realism and Symbolism of Colors in Shiite Cosmology”, “The Science of the Balance and the Correspondences between Worlds in Islamic Gnosis”, “Sabian Temple and Ismailism”, “The Configuration of the Temple of the Kabeh as the Secret of Spiritual Life” and “The Imago Templi in Confrontation with Secular Norms” are the chapters of the book.

Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a philosopher, theologian and professor of Islamic Studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.

Corbin is responsible for redirecting the study of Islamic philosophy as a whole. In his “Histoire de la Philosophie Islamique” (1964), he disproved the common view that philosophy among the Muslims came to an end after Ibn Rushd, demonstrating rather that a lively philosophical activity persisted in the eastern Muslim world -- especially Iran -- and continues to our day.


UNESCO commissions Iran to organize manuscripts in Central and Southeast Asia

Tehran Times: The UNESCO has recently commissioned Iran to organize manuscripts in countries located in Central and Southeast Asia, the director of the Iran National Library and Archives (INLA) said on Sunday.

The INLA is striving to convince the relevant Iranian officials to give the task to the library, Es’haq Salahi told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency.

“In two years, we will complete a 40-volume bibliography, which contains all manuscripts kept in Iranian libraries and centers of learning,” he added.

“After the completion of the bibliography, we will begin our task in Central Asia and Southeast Asia, and will help the countries in those regions preserve and restore the cultural heritage of the regions,” he stated.

No record of the assignment was found on the UNESCO website


‘Persian Bibliography of Islamic-Traditional Arts’ Out

Iran Daily: ‘Persian bibliography of Islamic-traditional arts’ has been marketed in Iran.

According to IBNA, the bibliography only considers Persian books, in other words, it introduces art’s compiled and translated books which have been released in Persian. The sources do not include theses, magazines, articles and websites.

The indexed sources have been categorized according to 6 groups; ‘Art’s theoretical studies and basics’, ‘The History of Arts’, ‘Designs’, ‘Architecture and Urbanism’, ‘Writing and Painting’ as well as ‘Handicrafts’.

The book holds different tables related to every section which indeed shows that the researchers seek the analytic approach of the works which have been compiled or translated in the field of Islamic-traditional arts. `
The bibliography was provided by Leila Sartipzadeh and Iman Zakariayei Kermani. It was released by the Research Institute of Culture, Arts and Communications in 237 pages.



Rooted in Iranian Culture

Iran Daily: Norouz is the day marking the start of the Iranian New Year, which coincides with the astronomical beginning of spring.
Known as New Day in Persian, the precise onset of Norouz is called Saal Tahvil (literally meaning “transfer of year”).
Along with its unique Iranian traditions, Norouz has been celebrated for at least the past 3,000 years and is deeply rooted in rituals associated with Zoroastrianism (the religion of ancient Persia before the advent of Islam in 7th century AD), Iranchamber.com wrote.
Iranians consider Norouz as their biggest festival and they make preparations to welcome it by cleaning their homes and buying new clothes.

Haft Seen
A major part of New Year rituals is setting the Haft Seen table with seven items beginning with the Persian alphabet ‘S’.
In ancient times, each of the items corresponded to one of the seven creations. At present, they have been modified but some have retained their symbolism. The seven items usually set on the table are Seeb (apple), Sabzeh (green sprouts), Serkeh (vinegar), Samanou (a porridge made of germinated wheat), Senjed (silver berry), Sekkeh (coin) and Seer (garlic).
At times, Iranians opt for Somaq (sumak, an Iranian spice) instead of Serkeh. Zoroastrians have the ritual of growing seven seeds as a reminder that this is the seventh feast of creation, while their sprouting into new growth symbolizes resurrection and eternal life to come.
Wheat or other grains, representing new growth, is soaked and kept covered in a flat dish a few days before the New Year to form the Sabzeh (green sprouts).
Decorated with colorful ribbons, it is kept until the 13th day of the New Year, and then disposed outdoors.
A few live goldfish are placed in a fish bowl. In olden days, they would be released into the nearest river.
A mirror is placed with lit candles as a symbol of fire. Most people place Qur’an in order to have God’s blessings throughout the New Year.
Some place Divan-e Hafez (the poetry anthology of Hafez) and read a few verses from it at the onset of the New Year while others place Shahnameh (Grand Book) of classic poet Ferdowsi. They believe Shahnameh represents Iranian identity, values and spirit, and is suitable for this ancient celebration.

Norouz Traditions
After the Saal Tahvil, people hug and wish each other a happy new year. Then they give presents to each other, usually given by an elderly member of the family to younger ones. The first few days are spent visiting older members of the family, relatives and friends. Sweets, special meals and Ajeel (a combination of different nuts and dried fruit) are consumed.
Traditionally, on the night before the New Year, most Iranians prepare Sabzi Polo Mahi, a special dish of rice cooked with fresh herbs and served with fried fish.
Koukou Sabzi, a mixture of fresh herbs with eggs fried or baked, is also served. The next day rice and Reshteh Polo (noodles) is served. Regional variations exist and very colorful feasts are prepared.
The 13th day of the New Year is called Sizdeh Bedar (throwing out 13) and spent outdoors. People go to parks or local plains for a festive picnic.
It is the most popular day of the holidays, largely because children get to play and have a good time.
On this day, people throw the green sprouts away, as Iranians regard the 13th day of the New Year to be a bad omen and believe that by going into the fields and parks they avoid misfortunes.
It is also believed that girls of marriageable age may wish for a husband by going into the field and tying a knot with green shoots, symbolizing a marital bond.
All in all, Norouz is a revival of traditions and an occasion for reinforcing family bonds.

Story Code: 132486