Hear the other side

Scanning through the comments in Iranian.com is sometimes disturbing. One main reason is the lack of communication between the different thoughts that do not agree with one another. We all want a better future for Iran and most of us would agree that “Democracy” is the way to go. Interestingly, the arguments for this word “Democracy” always lead to “script fighting” and insults. One wonders how we can reach the meaning of the word “Democracy” when no side will try to understand the other.

Iranians generally need to understand their history in more realistic terms. The first lesson for any society to politically advance is to learn tolerance or at the minimum, to have the patience to hear the other side.

The path to tolerance begins in Iran, where many ethnicities with different cultures coexist. Iran is a multi cultural society. Every nationality within the Iranian society is proud of their cultural background. This simple known fact is void when the Iranians speak about the Rights and “Democracy”. The blame is upon the people of Iran rather than the regime that rules the country.

To elaborate on this fact, let’s bring the example of the Azeri nationality in the Iranian society. One could simply talk about the humiliating and disgusting so called jokes that the Persians make in order to describe their fellow citizen. This unbelievable characteristic about our people and culture is simply dividing the country to different regions that become alienated towards one another. The unfortunate “Persian” wound does not stop at jokes only.

Let’s assume that a Persian speaking individual travels to Tabriz, she/he would not try to learn their ways and languages. Simple things like learning to give an address or buying groceries from a local shop. The locals realize that not only do the Persian speaking individual does not try to learn their language but also act superior to them. The “Persian” assumes that “these” people don’t speak “properly” and therefore they are not as “smart”. This point is generalized in order to give the reader the scenario coming from an Azeri national.

Iranians, mostly Persian speaking, must understand that other nationalities within the Iranian borders are bilingual by force in their own country. Many of the Iranian nationals learn other foreign languages also, making them tri ingual. Instead of admiring this fact we humiliate them and make fun of their accent when they try to communicate with the national language of Persian. One would assume that the first generation Iranians who live in a foreign country would understand and sympathize with the non Persian speaking Iranian, but unfortunately we have not learned.

Imagine a Kurdish Iranian who lives in the isolate part of the rich Iran and has been absolutely ignored. The Kurdish is a beautiful and poetic language. Does the average Iranian know about treasures of our cultures? When it comes to the talk of independence or separation of the Iranian physical border, we all claim that we are all Iranians. We need to understand these simple ideas of respect and admiration in order for all of the Iranians to be truly united.

The road to the Iranian democracy begins with the Iranians understandings of one another. Similar to the points above, we should respect our traditions and religions, whether we agree with it or not. First respect it, and then in time criticize it. Kurdish or Azeri, Arab or Baluchi should not feel foreign in their own country. Those “Persians” who continuously speak of Iran with the term of “Persian Pride” should know more about the “Iranian Pride”.

Non Persian Iranian nationals might all agree to have Persian as their State language, only if they get recognition and stop being humiliated by the jokes or superiority attitude of the “Persians”. We would notice that the idea of separating from Iran will gradually vanish and Persian becomes the language of the State rather than “superior culture”.

Nothing mentioned in this article is new, but we need to continuously bring these points out so our current and future generations do better to unite than the possible divide. We should not ignore the needs of all the Iranians and we should be ashamed about the jokes and characterization that we all have made to discredit all of our peoples’ contributions to our land.

Let’s be proud Iranians and enjoy the beautiful Kurdish or Azeri languages and try to learn a few words here and there. Try to visit all over Iran and really learn the ways that our diverse cultures and languages can offer us. I long for a day that Iranians would be able to learn Kurdish or any other Iranian language as an option at the State schools and Universities. The more we learn about ourselves the less chance for us to breakup.

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