Saturday, April 04, 2009

Hundreds of thousands of people on a street

700,000 people on a street, originally uploaded by thebeloved.

This is about half way down the street and downhill. Each Newroz (New Year) everyone in the city goes out and walks up and down the street. Different groups have music or food on the sides of the street. But those aren't the real attractions. The real thing is to see everyone you have ever known and to watch people, especially foreigners or politicians. It is swarming and not the easiest place to walk through. We were exhausted by the time we finished, but it was worth it. Everytime we stopped for anything we drew a crowd of our own. P got interviewed by a news crew on what he thought of the festivities. People followed us around with cameras to take our picture. You'd think we were something special. =) But we did manage to see some of our students and their families which made me feel a little more normal.


timmyjimi said...

Ha, are you the only fair-skinned folks in the city?

thebeloved said...

Haha! Yes! Well, there are a few other foreigners, but there were points on this walk where we felt like we were the parade and also where we drew a crowd. Such is life!

Diane said...

Hey sweetie,
It also looks like you were the only blondes.
I love you.

Nick Jesch said...

Interesting.. Hudson Taylor reported this phenomenon, that everywhere he went he WAS the parade. His response: grow a queue (pony tail... though at first he spliced in some hair to give the appearance of it being his own) and adopted Chinese dress and customs. Took him a while, but before long he could go anywhere in China and was most often taken for a visitor from some other province of China, and not the foreigner he was. This tactic opened the door for him to bring the Gospel into every district of that nation.
In your situation, though, I think its fine you are even there, and continue to be a part of life in your new home. Dying your blonde hair, or wearing jilli kurdi all the time, might not work so well... at least until you can speak the language fluently and learn most of their important customs!! Might be a while for that. Fun story, though, milling about with the crowds. I've been the "gringo alto" in some places most of the locals are a foot shorter and ten shades more brown than I am..... yup, walking down the street, I AM the event!! Funny how we are, eh?