Sara Jamshidi | The Observers

Observing the Holidays

This Friday marks not only the first day of spring, but Nowruz, the beginning of the Persian new year. Nowruz (which means “new day” in Farsi) is celebrated around the world and is a national holiday in Iran and ten other countries.

Last week, Michelle Obama hosted a party at the White House to celebrate the Persian new year (albeit a little early). And yesterday was the White House’s reception to mark St. Patricks Day. Since my invitations were apparently lost in the mail, I had to make do with watching the videos of the events online on the White House website.
As with many other important events, most of the audience members were watching the president or the first lady through the screens of their devices. I then found myself watching the events through their screens and simultaneously comparing them and wasn't always able to focus on what was being said. As someone watching online as opposed to live, it easier to focus on the speaker as the camera zooms on them. But sometimes, no matter how close the shot is, it’s impossible to see the speaker through the veil of smartphone screens.

We all have an urge to record the important moments. However, there appears to be an even stronger impulse for many to record an entire event on their devices, even though they can download the high quality videos for free. It once again makes me curious about how people perceive and remember an actual event compared to someone who has watched only a recording of it. 

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