Thursday, September 26, 2013
A Persian bonfire for a grey Newfoundland day
I'm in Corner Brook for a meeting sponsored by the Qalipu First Nation, and it is a dreary, grey day here on the west coast. I was delighted therefore to open my mailbox and find a note and photo from Shabnam Inanloo Dailoo, the Heritage and Community Engagement Adviser with Western Heritage in St. Albert, Alberta.
A native of Iran, Shabnam was one of the many people I had the pleasure of meeting at the Alberta Museums Association conference last week. She was intrigued by my mention of Bonfire Night traditions in Newfoundland, and asked me if I knew of the end-of-year bonfire traditions in Iran.
Happily, I was! A few years ago, as part of our Festival on Fire, we organized a talk between Dr. Philip Hiscock and Ebrahim Monajemi, comparing bonfire traditions in Newfoundland and Iran. You can listen to that interview on the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Shabnam, who has done research on traditional Persian gardens, describes the photo as a "Persian fresco on the walls of Chehel Sotun Garden (40-column garden) from 17th century depicting the bonfire ceremony.... clearly an intangible cultural heritage associated with a cultural place in an artistic way."