Spring Cleaning, Fruits and Ta'rof


It's still very cold and windy where I live, grasses are dried and brown buried underneath patches of ice and snow, trees are bare and my bird houses are looking very lonely and beaten by the cold. There's no sign of spring in the air, as if it will never arrive. I know this harsh winter and cold weather won't last for long and spring will be here very soon but, like other harsh and cruel things in life, it's sometimes difficult to believe that there will be a light at the end of a dark tunnel. However, life proves to be full of surprises and many unimaginable beautiful outcomes. One of my mother's habits was writing little notes on the corner of blank pages of her favorite books, such as Hafez's poetry book, lines like "in niz bogzarad" (this too shall pass). Seeing my mother's beautiful handwriting and the message while thumbing through the pages reinforces the hope that things will get better! Renewal and change will come soon and spring will bring many blooms, warm rays of sunshine and greenery.

To me spring means hope, brightness, warmth, rejuvenation, colors, birds chirping, flowers and fruits. At this time of the year with spring being around the corner it's time for our traditional, majorخانه تکانی - khaneh-tekani (spring cleaning). Which is a top to bottom, inside out, every nook and cranny heavy-duty cleaning, getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. Besides the cleaning I'm thinking of reupholstering my kitchen chairs and painting my stairway, that's why I need at least four weeks to accomplish all of this, and yes, I'll do it all by myself. Changing the seat covers is easy, it's choosing the right fabric that is hard. So far, I've been to my neighborhood fabric store and came back empty handed. I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Well, I'm not much of an interior designer and it takes me awhile to figure out what works best. I also wrote about spring cleaning (Iranian style) a year ago at this time.


Assorted fresh seasonal fruit platters are usually the center piece of the living room coffee tables in most Iranian homes for Nowruz celebrations and gatherings with friends and family. For us, serving fruits is right up there with serving a fresh brewed cup of tea with sweets. Even though winter fruits are somewhat limited in varieties compared to the summer bounty, you offer a fruit platter with what's seasonally available in your area and part of the world.

As a kid I didn't like the ta'rof ritual, the persistence of offering you food and drinks by the elders in the family. I'm used to it by now and it doesn't bother me anymore. It's all done with the best intentions of wanting to serve and please your guests. I find a little ta'rof somewhat charming. I usually offer our guests something to eat 2-3 times before giving up and saying "please feel at home and help yourself" but my husband, on the other hand, starts peeling oranges, slicing apples, pears and Persian cucumbers and anything else that's on the table and makes a ready to eat fruit platter for our guests! It's very cultural!!


Enjoy!

7 comments:

  1. love those pears, love your story :), first time seeing an iranian song :).

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  2. Those pictures of fruit are absolutely stunning; so beautiful! I understand about the fruit; I visited an Iranian friend recently and the fruitbowl was amazing! And of course I was allowed to tuck in... hehe. What a fantastic way of showing hospitality! :)

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  3. I'm waiting for spring eagerly as well, and your lovely post and pictures really lifted my spirit. I'm sure your choice of fabric for the chairs will be stunning, given your eye for colour combination.

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  4. Her voice and her appearance is angelic and I could completely get lost in viewing her; it reminds me of the otherworldly Persian group I saw last summer in Lebanon; but this is much softer and serene; i wish I understood the language! Beautiful post and I appreciate so much getting to know her. Beautiful performer.

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  5. I can't wait for spring to arrive too, it's too cold and gloomy now.

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  6. Azita, lovely pictures of the fruits...I too look forward to Spring :-) Beautiful clip.

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  7. A gorgeous post, a strong breeze of spring and renewal--thanks so much for sharing!

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