So, where were we with the Persian Day Parade? Oh yeah, more floats and dancing girls.
I actually don’t mean to be too flippant with the “dancing girls” lines. In fact, the ages of the dancers went from very young to women of a certain age. The dancers, who were mostly female, were always modestly dressed and their dancing was really much more celebratory than anything else. But the phrase “dancing girls” is stuck in my mind and the reader will have to bear with me.
This next group was perhaps the best of the bunch and perhaps the largest one, too. I just couldn’t pick a single picture to show how well they did.
As they pulled up just past me, they went into one of their routines. They were wonderful to watch and couldn’t have been more enthused in the dance.
And, despite what it looks like, they weren’t doing a Rockette’s routine. I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t Radio City Music Hall stuff. Just girls dancing…dancing girls.
Followed by another float…
Followed by more dancing girls. These were perhaps my best pictures of the day, at least in my eyes.
And they were followed by….No, not a float. Nope, these dancing girls were followed by more dancing girls!
Including one in a wheelchair.
You can’t keep a good dancing girl down.
Now, they were followed by a float.
Which was followed by…dancing girls!
Okay, there were some non-girls there, too. (But why spoil a good line?)
Next was a bit of a surprise: dignitaries.
Followed by more dignitaries.
Who was followed by…dancing girls!
And then a float.
Followed by another group. This one had male and females.
Followed by Zoroastrians.
And Zoroastrians on horses. I don’t know the symbolism.
Which was followed by floats dedicated to Cyrus the Great.
Followed by…more dancing girls (this is the Afsanch Ballet, a San Francisco group, doing a dance from Gilan).
Followed by a float of dancing girls…
Followed by more dancing girls…
Followed by a float dedicated to children. This was a very popular float as the kids had bead necklaces they were throwing out to the crowd.
Followed by…wait for it….dancing girls!
Which was followed by one of the other suprises of the day. This was a float with the very non-Iranian inscription: “Keep Christ in Christmas, Keep Persian in Persian Gulf, Keep the Caspian Sea Sovereign.”
Which was followed by….dancing scholars! They were holding the sign, but that didn’t stop them from dancing!
Which was followed by…dancing Rumis! Rumi was a mystical Persian poet.
Followed by more dancers (some men this time).
Which was followed by…the end of the parade. A final float.
The whole parade lasted about 90 minutes (well, I was at 39th Street and the parade went down to 27th Street so they marched for longer than I watched). My Finnish friends took off after about 75 minutes when the cold got to them, but I was happy to stick it out.
In summary, the Persian Day Parade is a favorite of mine. As I mentioned to the reporter a year ago, it shows the incredible breadth of the culture from that part of the country and reminds us that Persian culture and the Iranian people are so much more than we see in the current news.