Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Iranians Drink Religiously --
This International Herald Tribune article tells of how Islam hasn't eradicated the Iranian tradition of alcohol.

n fact, the Islamic regime is caught in a bewildering situation. Islam forbids the use of alcohol, and the Koran explicitly calls intoxicants "the abominations of Satan's handiwork" that want to turn people away from God.

But drinking and wine are integral to Persian culture.

Mey, the word for wine, and Saghi, the wine pourer, have been central motifs of Persian poetry for well over a thousand years.

Most poems by Iran's 14th-century popular poet, Shamsudin Mohammad Hafiz, who was Shiraz, revolve around wine.

A rose without the glow of a lover bears no joy; without wine to drink, he wrote, the spring brings no joy.

Wine's discovery in old Persia predates French wine. The earliest evidence of winemaking dates from 5400 B.C., in the Haji Firuz Hills, near western Azerbaijan Province, south of where the city of Orumieh is today.
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