However, the presence of Western stars is more apparent than ever on Iranian school children’s writing utensils and backpacks.
The Iranian school year began on Tuesday and about 14 million students started there first day of school. What drew attention more than anything, was that there bags were adorned with pictures of Barbie, Shrek and Spiderman.
They starred on their writing utensils and on the backpacks of almost half of the students.
'Sara and Dara' (R) lose to Barbie
Iranian authorities are disappointed that the children’s writing tools are decorated by Hollywood animation figures which are most likely more successful in attracting the Iranians than the local products.
Fewer and fewer children are interested in seeing simple pictures depicting nature, fruit and animals on their school supplies.
Here and there, the local stars “Dara and Sara” were noticeable. The Iranian dolls were created years ago as a substitute for the American Ken and Barbie dolls.
“Dara and Sara” are a brother and sister duo dressed modestly in an attempt to promote traditional Islamic values.
The Iranian Fars news agency reported that “Barbie managed to find a place in the hearts of Iranian school girls.”
Another report stated that Spiderman, Shrek, Superman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are making more and more appearances on children’s belongings.
The news agency also passed implicit criticism on Iran’s cultural institution. “If the country’s cultural officials act the way they should, the local dolls will take the place of Western ones.”