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I'm from Purrrsia
We cannot control how people want to call us

By Mohsen
May 12, 2004

Dear Mr. Bahmani,

Regarding your hilarious article on “Persian vs. Iranian” and emotional response from Ms. Sohrabi, ["Playing footsie with facts"]I came up with some points that you left out in your article.

First you forgot to mention the Persian cat. Consequently you left out a whole lot of things t Persians have in common with this particular Persian cat’s picture: a mean face, symbolizing our tendency to be terrorists, a big tail that implies how sneaky we are and shaggy hair that can interpret how luxurious we like to live. If it is a true picture, this cat is us.

But honestly aren’t we cute? No, look again! Look at those big bright eyes, those chubby cheeks. See how innocent his eyes are. Now that “mean face” can even be translated to an impression of a big disappointment. It seems that she was supposed to be petted but her treat was stolen instead. Look at those chunky legs and that fluffy tail. I love her. I don’t care what people want to name her. I love her. I don’t care if people even cannot locate her home in a simple geography map.

You also left out another point. Some of us really like to name ourselves Iranian but because our audiences are still developing their skills in geography. We have to come up with a familiar name to fulfill their very expensive sense of curiosity. (I am not talking about Iraqi cats yet.)

Oh yeah! Last year in our neighborhood, a crew of young people dragged an Afghan restaurant owner out of his business and set him on fire. Later he died in the hospital with no media coverage. His fatal fault was to proudly mention his nationality on his business name, Afghan Restaurant.

So what do you expect? A humble businessman seeking to make an honorable living should carry a flag and stand against the whole red-neck crew? Come on! Get real! Even our royal family with their royal power and money don’t dare to do so in the middle of Maryland.

Our language? What about it? It doesn’t matter what Westerners want to name it, Farsi or Persian? It is on the top of the language tree far out of reach of monkeys!

We cannot control how people want to call us. We have to just live with it or leave it alone. It happens all the time that some new words come into a language and some get forgotten. But a language still follows some patterns and is different from other languages. You’ve probably heard about Spanglish (Spanish-English) spoken on the border of US and Mexico or even deeper into the U.S. But can we say people who speak Sapnglish are not American or Spanish? By the way Spanish people are not really Spanish they are Mexicans. Oh God!

If we say English we refer to the language of people of England whom their land is named Great Britain. Americans speak English because their main ancestors were from England but they are really different from English people. Believe me! What they name us does not make us any different.

I am a Persian. My land is mentioned in one of the oldest books, the Old Testament. I am an Iranian whose land was originated by Aryans who were coincidentally same with Persians. I talk Parsi or Farsi the language of people of Part or Fars who were the main tribe in the core of the Persian Empire. Part, Fars, Parsi, Farsi, Persian, Iranian and Aryans all point to one thing: a land that is the home of a mountain peak named Damavand. Now let's talk about who named Damavand.

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Book of the day

Ancient Persia
From 550 BC to 650 AD
By Josef Wiesehfer

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