This essay is in response to the concerns of many single young and middle-aged Iranians who complain about the Iranian dating scene. Specifically, it is in response to an Iranian man in a forum who once complained that Iranian women dont like to date Iranian men and marry outside of their ethnicity.
Reality states that for various reasons Iranian women have changed since the generation of our parents and grandparents; whether it be the 1) current regime, 2) lack of religious and moral values (Iranians raised or born outside of Iran), social problems, Iranian women in western societies not being able to balance freedom with modesty, mardaye Iraani badan, ect, it still doesn't change the fact that they have changed.
From my experiences, I think Iranian men emigrating from Iran to the West tend to be more nationalistic and take pride in their background than Iranian women of the same caliber mostly because of the animosity of the current regime towards women.
I believe that the MAJOR reason (but not the only reason) ma Iraaniha etehaad nadarim va as ham dige bademoon miyaad is caused by our lack of religious, spiritual and moral beliefs. Chera pesar irooniya kamtar ba dokhtar irooni ezdevaj mikonand? Chera dokhtar irooni kamtar ba pesar irooni miran? There's gotta be deeper reasons besides that Iranian men think that Iranian women are a headache and Iranian women think Iranian men gossip after they break up them.
Ponder this thought: was it worth it to throw your religion all because of a corrupt regime? You must be wondering why I'm raising the issue of religion since we are talking about relationships. When you practice a religion in moderation and instill morals and some religious beliefs in your children they will tend to stick to their own kind. This applies to Iranians who grew up outside of Iran and to the newly arrived Iranian immigrants in the west.
The Iranians who arrive as immigrants have seen such a misuse and abuse of Islam in Iran that the first thing they do when they arrive in Europe, America and Canada is to distance themselves from it. They hate anything with Islam in it. It doesn't help that image portrayed here is negative, some of it true some of it unjust. Ma iroonia kheyli do roo baazi dar miyaarim. When it's to our advantage we say we are Muslim or Iranian when it's not we say something else. I mean what happened to being strong and standing up for something?
Let's take an example. I studied at school with a large Lebanese population whom I interacted with freely. I would say that the Lebanese are more open-minded than us in a lot of ways. What was interesting is that all the Lebanese guys were interested in Lebanese girls and vice-versa. They never bad mouthed each other. You wanna know why?
Although they were open-minded they never forgot their roots, religion and morals because their parents (esp. fathers) instilled that they were Lebanese and Muslim first and whatever else second. That's why they all have a strong preference to marry their own kind. They were Lebanese Muslim or Christian and for overwhelming majority they were only going to marry their own. This is evident and prevalent in Pakistani, Afghani, Greek, southern Italian and other tight knit cultures.
Now let's take the example of Iranians in America and the west. Most of the girls grow up having fathers or mothers (mostly fathers) who bash Islam and everything about it without studying it. How do you expect Iranian women to be moral in the west when most of their fathers bash religion? Having some religious beliefs in moderation (any religion Islam, Bahai, Christianity, Judaism) provides the morals that we humans need to guide us. The new trend among Iranians is to be spiritual and they identify their religion as spirituality; when you ask them what spiritual is they pause and can't answer you.
Iranians are all about this superficial and shallow Persian pride when most havent either never been to Iran or havent been back in along time. Pride in culture and heritage is important but religion is the foundation and the root that holds a heritage and culture in tact. Before Islam, we had Zoroastrianism. Now we have Islam. Preserve it in your kids and teach them the right way.
We all have gone to Iranian parties and heard some irrational person say how Islam is the root of all Iranian problems. Although religion should be separate from government and the current regime in Iran should go, how many Iranians Muslims do you know who actively practice their religion or at least have some sort of respect for it? I can count them on my hands & fingers.
I fall into the category of I have the utmost respect for all religions and since I'm Muslim I reserve my greatest respect for Islam. How many Iranians that you know of can even say that? Many I know ridicule it and think somehow we can assimilate better in other societies by putting down our roots. Please don't argue back that we were attacked 1400 years ago by Arabs and we were forced to convert. We attacked so many other cultures who adapted our culture and so many others (Greeks, Mongols, ect.) attacked us; yet we are the only ones who are so bitter about it. That argument is baseless.
When you date an Iranian you can find out how moral she or he is by asking her what her parents attitude is towards religion. Try it on your next date (lol). If his or her parents have a negative view of religion chances are he or she will lack the morals you might be looking for.
Some parents blame all their problems on the religion Islam. I hate to break it to you if your daughter is sleeping around, it's not because of Islam it's because you failed to raise your daughter right with morals; same goes if your son is a drug dealer or user. They still have not educated themselves enough to separate akhoonds and political Islam with Islam as spiritual guidance. Most enlightened people have realized that politics and religion should be separate; what most Iranians intellectuals fail to realize is that our problem is not Islam as a whole; it's the current regime and politics mixed with religion.
Since all these parents (mostly fathers) bash their own roots esp. religion, what's a young Iranian girl going to believe? Absolutely nothing. When you don't believe in a religion you don't care as much about morals and dating outside of your ethnicity becomes more commonplace.
If you want to date outside your religion and race it is all right but for those of you who say that Iranians need to stick to Iranians then raise your children the right way (in moderation not like fanatics) with morals and religion so they are more likely to stick to their own kind. I know some of you are wise guys and say what you want us to do put hijabs on our daughters' heads? No that's not what I meant. I mean use your brain and teach your kids the good of religion and morality.
I am all for Iranian men and women who marry outside of their ethnicity and introduce our rich culture and heritage to theirloved ones but when they marry out of hate for their own kind and shun them away, well that disappoints me. Some woman before was trying to rub it in that she is engaged with a Canadian fiance. Well good for you and I wish you the best.
I am in a serious relationship with a non-Iranian Muslim simply because I have found her beauty, loyalty, care and morals superior to the five other Iranian girls I had a previous relationship with; but I have no ill-will towards Iranian women; I just feel we are not compatible and have very little in common. I have seen it and compared Iranian families and reached this conclusion.
If it's important for you that Iranians stick with Iranians then make sure your children and their generation grow up right. I wanted an Iranian girl that was raised like me. I dated five and couldn't find it. It was important for me until I saw I was not compatible with my own kind. I blame the parents not society for this lack of unity, distrust and hatred among the Iranian dating scene. I gave up and raised the white flag like most of us have.
I grew up in a conservative household who does not agree or like the current regime in Iran. However, we never forgot our roots as Iranian first and then as Muslims. I look at the other families my family mingles with at social gatherings. They all drink excessively and curse at Islam the religion.
What is even funnier is they all wonder why their daughters dress so provocative and why they don't date or marry their own kind. Sorry to break it to you but when you fail to instill morals, religious beliefs and cultural beliefs in your children esp. your daughters they will lose respect for you and your identity.
Finally, the next time you Iranians look at Arabs, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Turks as lower than us and say they are “dehati” (village people) at least they don't have the problem we have when it comes to dating our own kind. Ask yourself why are their women more loyal than ours? Why do their men mostly date their own kind?
It all comes back to their parents raising them with religion and morals. There is something to be learned from them. Although Iranians are the most educated Muslims and Middle-Easterns and the most successful immigrants in the States, it is not an excuse to lose our sense of morals, religion and our roots as a whole. We must be able to balance the two. There can't be a trade-off between education and religion.
Once again, I wish all Iranians whether they date/marry Iranian or non-Iranian nothing but the best. By the way on a lighter note good luck to my boys next year in World Cup 2006 in Germany. Zende baad Team Melli.