Wednesday, May 02, 2007

When Ahmadinegad Kisses His Teacher

Today is the twelfth day of Ordibehesht, second month of spring, in Iranian calendar. It is Teacher’s day in Iran[1] and there are official and non-official ceremonies to commemorate this day. It also is the day that Iranians students buy their teachers some presents, with flowers to be the most common one. So you can rest assured that florists are having a great business day in Iran.

Culturally and traditionally a mentor or a teacher, in Farsi called: “O’staad”, is considered the most vital character in a person’s life and Iran’s literature is rich with stories about teachers conveying the respect and the gratitude that are due to them. Iranian government employs the largest number of teachers in Iran with a small portion of them working in private schools. Teachers’ compensation in Iran is ranked among the lowest in country and there have been union demands for increase in pay and benefits[2].

President Ahmadinegad has managed to make headlines on this day as well. He embraced Najmeh Qolipour his old first grade teacher and kissed her hand. Ironically embracing a woman, who is not a relative, in public is against some readings of Islamic codes advocated by ultra-radicals. So it seems this time the fire is coming from the far right side of politics in Iran. However there is no doubt that Iranian public consider kissing a teacher's hand a very noble gesture.
[1] It also is the anniversary of Morteza Motahari assassination, who was a leading ideologist of revolution and philosopher in pre-revolution era. The day is named Teacher’s Day in his memory. There is another version to it as well.
[2] I will write more about this later.


leila said...

Admire?? O' come on, he's a show off. A minute later he could have her in jail if she speaks up againt him.

Anonymous said...