Over the last several years, American Baha’i Warren Odess-Gillet has been hosting and broadcasting a weekly Baha’i radio program over the airwaves called A Baha’i Perspective.
The program is fascinating, as it’s based on interviews with individual Baha’is who share the personal stories of their lives and how they found the Baha’i Faith.
You dont have to tune into the radio to have a listen though, as the program is also available as a podcast on iTunes as well, and it’s a podcast I often listen to on my headphones while taking the train to work.
I thought it was time someone put Warren on the receiving end of being asked questions, so I decided to catch up with him and find out more about A Baha’i Perspective. Continue reading
Image by seier+seier (Flickr)
The Baha’i Faith is a global religion. It is acknowledged today as one of the most wide-spread religions – present in over 200 countries and territories, with its central texts translated into over 800 languages and its adherents hailing from diverse traditions and cultures. This is something that many of us Baha’is are proud of and see as a testament to our diversity and universal worldview.
However, wherever you may encounter the Baha’i Faith, sooner or later you’re bound to encounter Baha’is from a Persian background. They will vary in their relative “Persian-ness”. Some will be second or third generation immigrants with a strong cultural foundation in their new country, such as my husband who is more Australian than he is Persian. Others will be much more culturally Persian and might tarof with you every chance they get. You’ll also find people like me, who are a good old mix of a lot of different things. (I am one quarter Persian, although most people wouldn’t know it, and often assume my last name is taken from my husband.) There are also those who have no ethnic links to Persia or Iran, but may have Persian names after early heroes of the Faith’s history, like Vahid or Tahirih.
So what is the relationship between the Baha’i Faith and Persian culture?
Ever so often, we’ll be putting up posts for our ‘Common Questions Series’. As the name suggests, these are questions about the Faith that we often get. You know those ones – where you kinda, sorta, maybe know the answer but aren’t sure if you know enough to give the asker a full response? Yeah, those ones. Baha’i Blog has decided to make a collection of those questions, which will hopefully be as helpful to you, our readers, as it is to us!
We’ve been getting a few questions recently about Naw-Ruz and its origins as a Baha’i Holy Day, so we’ll start with that!
Image by Baha'i Views / Flitzy Phoebie (Flickr)
Is Naw-Ruz an Iranian holiday or a Baha’i Holy Day?
Naw-Ruz (which in Persian literally means “New Day”) is a New Year holiday for both Iranians and Baha’is. Both groups celebrate it on the 21st of March each year but the significance and celebrations between the two are slightly different.