Dear readers, today's Tehran Times, a leading newspaper of Iran, reports that a group of German and Iranian school-children have just collaborated on a two-part theatre project. In the first part, the schoolchildren have brought a theatrical version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Naqsh-e Jahan Square in the city of Isfahan, Iran.
In turn, the Iranian students performed their own folktale, Mah-Pishuni (or Mah-Pishooni), for the visiting German children. Mah-Pishuni is a story relatively unknown in the West. Mah-Pishuni, whose name means Girl With a Face Like The Moon, is an Iranian princess, whose prince searches all of Iran for her, having fallen in love at a glimpse of her beautiful, moon-like face. To come together, they have to thwart the machinations of Mah-Pishuni's embittered sister-in-law.
I find this a beautiful moment - these two groups of schoolchildren have chosen these fairy tales to try and convey to each other some of the depth and beauty of their two cultures.
You can glimpse some echo of the beauty and energy of Mah-Pishuni through this song based on the story (forgive that the video component is a slideshow and not a clip of the singer, GooGoosh - it is difficult to find any of this in the West, so we must make do; fortunately the slideshow is very compelling itself):
Think of it! We may have Snow White, and Cinderella with her glass slipper and her prince seeking her, but we do not have the Girl With A Face Like the Moon. How blessed these students are to be sharing their stories, stories that have been told and retold in each of their cultures until they have fermented with their age like fine wine. Think of the beauty and ideas we get each time we encounter a new story, especially a story from a different part of the world. If only there were more opportunity for this kind of sharing, and if only more newspapers than the Tehran Times will recognize this event for the occasion it is, and make mention of it. This is a very beautiful thing that the children have done, and I hope that it enriches their lives.
And I must try to learn more of Mah-Pishuni.
You can read the article in the Tehran Times here - it is very brief.