The informant was an uber driver, Amir I had who was Persian. I was taking an uber and it was the day before Persian New Year, which I did not know until he mentioned it. It was an extremely sunny and beautiful day and while we were making small talk about the weather he started talking about the Persian New Year. Below is our conversation where he tells me about the importance of the blooming flowers and of Persian New Year traditions.
Amir: “No one wants to work today- it is spring.”
CI: “Yes, the weather is so beautiful!”
Amir: “Yes and in my community, it is the New Year.”
CI: “Oh really? What community?”
Amir: “I am Persian. Tomorrow is the Persian new year. As you can see the flowers growing on the side of the road show new life.”
CI: “Wow, so what do you do for Persian New Year?”
Amir: “Well first, no one work. Tomorrow is the big celebration. Family and friends come over and we celebrate. We have a table set for everyone.”
CI: “Really? What types of food do you eat?”
Amir: “We eat at a restaurant, but we set out table to show spring has come. We put the lentils out to show rebirth and we put the dried fruit to show love and apple and vinegar and other things.”
CI: “Okay so you set the table with items but you don’t eat them?”
Amir: “No we go out to eat at Persian restaurant and have kebab and meat”
This was such a great interaction and I also don’t know if it would have occurred if it hadn’t been nice weather outside. It seems as if the celebration of Persian new year is greatly linked to the rebirth with spring and therefore the weather is a huge part of the day. I wondered if the weather was not as nice out if the holiday would be the same. Small talk about weather can inform people about very interesting traditions!