Drained and exhausted
Trying to keep up
with Iranian culture
By Heresh Rezavandi
October 24, 2003
You know how when you're walking in a city in the
West and you raise your head you see an Iranian face. Both of
you look at each other knowing that the other is Iranian but
fail even to say "salaam". Or how you're sitting on
a train and there's a gorgeous Iranian girl looking at you. You
look back wanting to say something, but avoiding the whole trivial
process of passing the stages of "roo dar baaystee".
I'm getting this every day. And as time passes
I'm getting more of it. I want to scream with frustration. Not
because I dislike
my fellow people, but because I witness the mass flood of the
Iranian peoples out of Iran. Due to an offcial figure there are
that seven million Iranians living outside Iran. Who are these
people? Yes, the intellectual, educated and the rich. And every
number increases resulting in a negative effect on the situation
My cousin's friend was selected to go on the Iranian
Olympiad team for mathematics in Scotland. After the competition
he took a plane to MIT where he was offered a job by the Americans.
This is not an invidual case, it's happening to hundreds of Iranian
geniuses. When will it stop?
I want to return to my homeland, for
better or worse. Because I felt that as an Iranian
in the West. Sometimes I wish I was living in the States where
I can pretend that the Iranian revolution, which is a favourite
topic amongst Iranian family dinners, was purely a revolution
by the Iranian people. To pretend not to be suspicious of US
involvement during that period and the war with Iraq, so I could
hide away the hypocrisy for living in the land of the "free".
Or I can disregard the fact that I am Iranian
and be absorbed in the "Western" culture that I am constantly bombarded
with after living here for 18 years, like the many other Iranians
which have gone with the flow.
I mean how many times have you
come across with fellow students saying "yeah my parents
are Persian". What the hell do you mean your parents are
Persian? If your parents are Persian, so are you! But you can't
blame them, you actually feel sorry for them. But do you actually
feel sorry for yourself? Who are you kidding? Most of us can't
even speak Persian properly let alone write. And how many times
did your parents complain that you were "gharb-zadeh"?
nemeedoonam. I feel so drained and exhausted trying to keep up
with Iranian culture. You know, like getting all excited
and ringing and texting every single Iranian I know whenever
there's a documentry about the Shah or Khomeini or programmes
broadcast to Europeans and Americans -- and all they know
is that Iran is in the Middle East, and a good percentage of
them don't even know that. Or attending as
trying to get to know every single
Iranian in the city. Or what about the long trips to Iran where
you want to feel at home, but you somehow don't fit in -- not
to mention the marriage proposals we get.
But we all fled to the West in order that we return
to Iran one day. Even if it is a dream.