Friday, June 12, 2009

Election Day

Yesterday a woman who works as a nanny told us that if she voted, she would vote for Ahmadinejad. When asked why, the best answer she could give was that he was President for 4 years, and well that is how it works here. He's been there, and now he knows. Everyone in the room sighed, noooo, that's not true, etc. She said Ahmadinejad is for downtowners (payin shahr) and Moussavi is for uptowners (bala shahr). Again everyone denied this, reminding her that Moussavi also comes from humble background, and has promised not to take back any of the help AN has given recently, but only to make it better.

Anyone who says they won't vote is chided by young and old. The elderly say they want to vote for the future of their kids, and the younger kids wish they were old enough to take part in the voting - although they have been quite active in the campaigning.

Meanwhile, sitting around the satellite TV, munching on fruit and nuts, people around me recount the most recent jokes over and over, as well as the chants that were circulating, and they sing "Ahmadi bye bye, Ahmadi bye byeee."

"bye byee"

One example is interesting, but it wont really translate interestingly, but it basically relates Ahmadinejad to street kids or lower class people, and Moussavi to spoiled rich kids.

AN fans chant:
"Moussavi, kam miyareh
Bacheh soosool avardeh."

Moussavi fans chant:
"Ahmadi, kam miyareh
Bache gedah avardeh."

Although all campaigning was officially forbidden as of yesterday, there were still youth out late into the night, sneaking peace signs with green laced wrists, and whispering "Moussaviii." In one of my relative's streets, kids parked their cars and danced in the streets, having a full on party.

In the past days, some people wondered - "Turn on the TV, is there a revolution?" And they get angry when the satellite channels from USA tell them not to vote. Many believe that something will really change, or at least it will be the start of something...

Today, we went to the polls early. It was already full - there were queues forming even at the earliest possible time, 8am, which is impressive considering the fact that Iranians are usually late for everything.

Waiting in line everyone whispered about recent news or things they had overheard, and studied everyone who exited the polling station commenting on who they might have voted for. One man told his wife, as they walked out, "Did you write down AN??" Whispers hissed down the line like a telephone, repeating what they just heard. Everyone brought their own pen - it had even been announced on national TV the night before, to bring along a pen just to be safe.

In one of the news reports earlier today, an election commisioner announced that the "enemies of Iran were not so happy with the impressive turnout, and they are spreading rumors..." He urged people not to believe those rumors, and to continue their support. Who those "enemies" were or what the "rumors" were he did not specify.

Otherwise, the mood has been exxageratedly jovial and friendly, with interviewers and interviewees praising their mighty, dear, wonderful. proud country....

Millions have already voted, and there is a chance we will beat the record of 1998's 70% turnout.......We just can't wait for the outcome!

1 comment:

i kant said...

the riots begining: 1 2 3