Remember when I posted about how the medieval Muslim and Indian versions of ancient “Greek medicine” were still out and about, including in Afghanistan?
Here’s a story about the dark side. Just as many people in ancient Rome used opium cakes as a cure-all (panacea), so do the Afghan people today.
The classical world isn’t dead. Sometimes that’s not a good thing.
On the bright side, elements of the party fun of the Adonia (“certain vessels full of earth, in which the worshippers had raised com, herbs, and lettuce, and these vessels were called the gardens of Adonis”) and the ancient Persian New Year survive in Mideast celebrations of Easter and modern Iran’s Nowruz/Persian New Year.
(I don’t see any pictures of girls throwing away the grass while wishing for husbands, at the end of the celebrations; but I’ve got a YouTube video of grass being given as a prize to the winners of some kind of Nowruz “chicken wrestling” in Azerbaijan. Well, maybe that’s more dark side, sorry, though the chickens don’t seem torn up and it only lasts about two seconds in the video. The dunce cap I think is supposed to be a depiction of Zoroastrian priest gear.)
(You might rather look at this video, which shows the tribal Azerbaijani ladies in their traditional, largely non-face-veiled outfits. This is an example of how, in many places in the Muslim world, women only wore face veils against dust or sun, same as the men. Having a nice warm or cool hat was more important to their outfits than hiding from men. Alas, it looks like the women attached to the dignitaries/apparatchiks are wearing less fun outfits than the tribal ladies and are more Saudi-ized. Anyway, the music is even catchier in this video than in the first one, though I warn you that I like drone instruments. Here’s Tajik immigrant ladies in New York at Nowruz, same thing as the Azerbaijanis.)