Don't be boring. Be Iranian
May 10, 2001
A little reminder of some of the beautiful things that Iranians share.
Our Language: How many times have ignorant Americans asked you whether
you were speaking French? Our language is very beautiful and even though
it is bastardized in the TV shows in the U.S., people who speak the language
correctly are a joy to listen to.
Our poets: How many profound poems have you read by the thousands of
Iranian poets that existed or are still alive today, each time stopping
and thinking damn she/he's so right. Sa'di, Jami, Shamloo, Forough Farrokhzad,
Sepehri, Hamid Mossadegh, etc.
Our new year: What can be more amazing than starting the new year on
the first day of spring? Sitting around the Haft Seen in anticipation. Reading
from the Koran, Golestan, Hafez or whatever that brings inspiration.
Celebrating nature in the fields with friends and family on the thirteenth
Visiting the elderly and disabled on the first day of Eid. Even though
their comments, criticisms and boring stories may drive us to the edge,
would you have otherwise ever visited them? And what would you have felt
if they passed away? That you never got to see them, ever?
Asking the elder or head of the family for advice and support when things
went bad, knowing that they would be there for you. Would you really replace
that with a $$$/hour therapist?
Asking a stranger for whatever it was they were cooking because you were
pregnant and food smelled really good and more likely than not be received
Respecting the elders and listening to them (by force or otherwise).
In hind sight aren't there things that they said that make perfect sense
Knowing that in most cases you're always welcome at your parents' house
when things are rough. Can you seriously say that about the everyday American
where you're accountable for the cost of food and lodging?
Having a million people stop by and ask you if you needed help if you
looked stranded? Ever thought of the law suits that can follow if you do
the same here and something innocently goes wrong?
Tarof. The one thing that kills most of us. But haven't there been times
when you really wanted something and needed a little tarof to accept it
with minimum guilt? Because after all, tarof oomad nayoumad daareh.
And our food. Forget outside Iran for a moment and go back home. Do you
remember that you usually had "warm" foods in winter and "cold"
foods in summer? That sabzi khordan, onion, somaagh and yogurt help digest
food and kill harmful bacteria.
Remember the freshly-shelled walnuts, warm cooked beet, fava beans with
golpar, zoghaal akhteh, aabeh zereshk? How nutritious is popcorn, hot dog,
honey-glazed peanuts and cotton candy?
We have been invaded left and right. Have we ever become a commonwealth
country? This shows the strength of our people. (Conspiracy theorists have
a ball with this!!)
We've never had freedom of speech, so Iranians who do great things remain
anonymous. Even here, we are afraid that one day we might get into trouble
with the present goverment or the next. But with a little research we can
find better role models than Freddie Mercury.
Ask anyone from any cultural or racial group and you will hear similar
complaints about their culture, traditions etc. Take Thanksgiving. How many
times have you heard people dreading the family gathering, the turkey, the
As humans we're soooo alike. It's these little cultural, religious,...
differences that make us interesting. Imagine everybody being 100% their
adopted/inhereted country... Boring.