#Norouz photos from our broadcast regions!
Springtime has finally arrived, and last week’s “Friday Photos From…” gallery celebrated Norouz, a holiday that not only marks the spring equinox but also the first day of the Persian New Year.
The holiday is celebrated across Central Asia and the Caucasus and is a loud and colorful start to the new year. The history of Norouz dates back to pre-Islamic Iran where it is believed to have been the holiday of the ancient Zoroastrian religion.
These photos come from our broadcast regions, such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Azerbaijan and Iran and were taken by our photographers. Photos from Iran are a courtesy of Mehr agency.
Check out what listeners of RFE/RL’s Persian Service, Radio Farda wish for in the New Year at “Radio Farda Listeners Share Norouz Wishes”
See the rest of the photos on our Facebook page!
Norouz video by @RadioAzadi’s Sayedjan Sabawoon: People across Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East are celebrating Norouz, the Persian New Year, which marks the coming of spring. In Kabul, Afghans gathered at a fair full of music, rides, and food, while young men dressed in green, the traditional spring color, to try to kiss a holy flagpole raised during each Norouz.
State-run media in Turkmenistan have declared that the Central Asian country has entered a new “era of supreme happiness of the stable state” in the wake of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov’s landslide reelection victory.
Radio Ozodlik’s photos: Uzbeks Gather For Game of Kopkari
In Uzbekistan, the national game of “kopkari” is held to celebrate an occasion such as a wedding or the birth of a son. The basic objective is for a rider on horseback to get an animal carcass, a goat or sheep, into a circle or across a finish line. The prize on offer is a measure of the wealth of the game’s sponsor…[Read more about RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service, Radio Ozodlik.]
With marriage on his mind, a man in his twenties chooses a young woman and arranges her kidnapping. He then seizes the woman in the streets, and takes her to his home, where she is pressured to consent to the marriage by the man’s family…[READ MORE]
Rumors are in the air in rural Tajikistan.
Danghara, a small town of 20,000 situated in Tajikistan’s southern lowlands, may not strike most observers as a likely spot to place a national capital. But locals are pointing to the resumption of work on a grand new international airport nearby to speculate that Tajik President Emomali Rahmon – a native of the area – intends to relocate his country’s seat of power to his modest hometown…[READ MORE]
Janarbek Akaev just turned 25, but he’s already earning plaudits from around Central Asia for his impressive work in broadcast journalism. On December 13, Akaev — a television broadcaster for RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service, Radio Azattyk — was voted Kyrgyzstan’s best TV presenter for 2011.[READ MORE]
Soaring fuel prices; electricity rationing; early snow — it’s enough to send people scurrying for alternative ways to heat their homes and cook their meals.
In some parts of Central Asia, however, “alternative” doesn’t necessarily mean clean burning or eco-friendly. In Uzbekistan, cheap is the operative word, and that means things can get downright, well, earthy.
“Coal is fuel for rich people only,” says Eshmurod-Aka, a resident of Uzbekistan’s Qashqadaryo province. “Animal manure is the only fuel we use now.”