Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy New Year!

Let me explain. Tomorrow is the start of Solar Year 1388, the New Year for Afghans and Iranians. The Persian calendar uses a Solar year that starts on the Equinox. Many other Muslim countries use the Hijri calendar calculated on lunar cycles beginning with the Hijra, Mohammed's emmigration to Medina (16 July 622 CE on the Gregorian calendar).

Since a lunar-based year is 11 to 12 days shorter than a solar-based year, the Islamic New Year moves in relation to the Gregorian calendar. The Islamic New Year began on 29 December 2008. So we are in 1430 AH if following the Islamic calendar.

This all causes some difficulties in this part of the world. However, more and more many of these countries are using the Gregorian calendar for business and government, while reserving the Islamic calendar for religious observance. In Afghanistan, they use the Solar Year for offical purposes. It can get confusing at times.

Hey, but it's cool to say you've lived in the 14th, 15th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Sorta nice having the New Year coincide with spring though. Today is a beautiful sunny day, temperatures in the 60's. So for today, here's a bunch of Kabul in springtime people on the street pictures.

Old woman and younger woman out shopping.

Don't try this at home! This woman is a professional.

Travelling onion salesman. No, not the horse.
The guy at the back of the cart.

Nut shopping. The streets are full of them. I mean the kind you eat!

Grimly forward we go to do battle with the merchants.

Hanging out on the curb.

Mom and girl.

Just a guy.

Gretel and the witch.
"Would you like to come to my cottage little girl?

Granny in white.

Now what did I come to market for?

College girls walking home.

Balancing Act.
Dad's positioning the kids on a bike.
It's hard to tell from this smaller image, but both kids have green eyes.

Dad/grandpa walking the kids home from the park.

These next two pictures fall under the category of "giving lie to."
Or, stupid things bigotted Gringos say.

One guy I know said that Afghans are emotionally stunted because they don't get to play with dolls. As a result they have no imagination.
Hmm, seems like this travelling doll salesman chose the wrong job then.

I rode through town the other day with a Gringo who was most assuredly whupped up side the head with an ugly stick as a baby. I heard him remark, "There's nothing but ugly women here. This town has no pretty girls." Of course he's only been driving through town for a few days...he's new. Pissed me off because our driver, who pretends he doesn't speak English, was sitting next to him. I took this picture within seconds of his stupid comment. Pardon me, but anyone who thinks the young woman on the right is ugly, needs his head examined.