6/11/2007

Gol-e Sad Tomani...

My friend, Fariba, sent me a picture of a small bouquet of Gol-e-Sad Tomani, or Peonies, sitting on her living room table, directly across from where she was typing a note to me. It is not a very high quality picture, as she took it with her cell phone, but it is enough to remind me of my endless love for the flower, and the joy I used to experience at seeing its appearance in Tehran flower shops in mid-Spring every year. Before their sudden disappearance in the early summer, I would buy many different colors and varieties of the flower, putting them wherever I could look at them every moment of the day, trying to save their image and fragrance in my head for the months that I won’t be able to see them again until next year. I don’t know where that Farsi name came about. Someone said it was to show the preciousness of the flower, by citing a very high price for it (100 Toomans used to be a lot of money). I am full of memories today.

5 comments:

Fariba said...

Nazy Joon:

The reason Peony is called 100 tomani in Persian, I have heard, is the prize one of Qajar kings gave to the gardener who planted them in his gardens. When the first plant bloomed, the king gave 100 tomans to the gardener. It was a huge amount of money back then. I bought the bunch you saw in the picture for 30 times as much from a peddler near Vanak square!

I love peonies too. I guess I love them more than any other flower I have seen. May be not more than Narcissi, Iranian fragrant Narcissi, which were my mother’s favorite. You know Shiraz is famous for it’s Narcissus. During the years I lived there, I used to buy Narcissus flowers for my mom. They remind me of her now, and I love them for the reason.Take care.

Nazy said...

Fariba Joonam:

Thank you for the photo, for the memories, and for answering the "100 Tooman Question!" And I have another Tehran trivia question for you: Why was a street off Lalehzar called: "Koocheye 100 Tomani" (or "100 Tomani ha")? Was it because they planted these flowers there? Or was it the expensive houses there?

God bless our mothers and all mothers, Fariba. I know those narcissi so well. It's like I can smell them in my head. And don't forget Tube Rose (Gol-e-Maryam) which you can find in the US, but never with the same fragrance as the ones in Iran. Thanks for everything.

Assal said...

What a lovely thing to learn.

I thought at first that you had named the Peony goleh sad tomani as a nickname, but now that I realize that is its actual name, it is so interesting!

Nazy said...

Yes Assal Jan. A beautiful flower with a very interesting name.

SERENDIP said...

I never knew the Persian name for it. Thanks.