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The many levels of Iranians in the UK

Heresh Rezavandi
October 16, 2004

After reading Siamack Bianemiri's account ["The bartender"] as an outcast 30-something Eye-ranian-American barman in Tehrangeles amongst the plastic Roonis, consisting of Sherries', Bettys' and Bobby-Babaks, it rung a bell about the equally insane Irooni community we have in the UK -- the land of warm beer, unpredictable weather and unlimited cups of tea and Hugh Grant films.

You just have to walk into an Iranian shop, party, boutique, hairdressers, surgery, etc., just to have a taste of the deevoonity we have to live with. I'm talking about Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Iranians in this country. Oh, sorry, aren't you familiar with the 6 levels? Let me enlighten you.

Level-1 Iranians are the ones who have either been born here or spent most of there lives in England, speak with a perfect BBC English accent, with an equally impressive command of Persian, studying Medicine/Dentistry/History/Law in one of the top ten universities in the country, yeah, King's College ROCKS!

They have a tough time trying to teach their English friends how to pronounce Khashayar. They go out with Level-1 Iranians and keep trying to convert Level-4 Iranians into Level-1 Iranians and hate Level-5 Iranians. They keep telling everyone about Iran's glorious past and how they're going to join the military and return back to their homeland. They went out with a Level-6 Iranian and have regretted it since. And oh yeah, they hate Arabs.

Level-2 Iranians are the ones who were either born in the UK or spent most of their lives here, speak English with a Persian accent and Persian with an English accent. Trust me, there is an army of them. They go out with fellow Level 2, 3 and 4 Iranians and don't believe that Level-5 Iranians exist.

They visit Iran every yearn. The guys boast how many girls they've slept with, and the girls claim they're virgins. These Roonis are really messed up, nobody accepts them because they don't fit anywhere. They tried talking to Level-6 Iranians, but stopped after they had a restraining order of 100 metres, when they were accused by Level-6 Iranians of stalking them.

Level-3 Iranians are the ones who have been here half there lives who speak English with a Persian accent and but speak Persian perfectly. They work in mobile telephone shops, pizza joints or fried chicken restaurants, call themselves either Sam (Saman), Sean (Shahin) or Bobby (Babak), have blond, ugly Polish girlfriends, drive J Rej 318 BMW with M3 alloys, and live in posh Ealing.

They hate Level-1 Iranians because they have no problem speaking English and Persian properly, and love to show off to Level-4 and 5 Iranians. They have absolutely no idea about current politics in Iran.

Level-4 Iranians are the ones who have been born here or have spent most of there lives in England, speak very little Persian, but English with a BBC accent. They are currently working for Rothchild's/JP Morgan, they stick with their archaic Persian names, but use the European version; Darius/Cyrus/Xerxes etc.

They live in upscale Kensington and hate their ex-girlfriend/boyfriend who was a Level-1 Iranian. They went to Oxford or Cambridge and when they get drunk talk about the social, political, economic, religious aspects of the Iranian revolution.

Level-5 Iranians live in the middle of nowhere, speak absolutely no Persian whatsoever, and are probably half-Persian. They went to university in the middle of nowhere (Northumbria) studied media.

When they come across another Irooni, the first thing they say in their English-accented Persian, "Faasi baladee? Pedrosag! HAHAHAH!! I can swear in Faasi!" How pathetic. You probably don't even know where Iran is. You embarrass yourself when you try to talk to your grandad on the phone: You give the old man a heartattack when he realizes you can't speak a word of Persian. What the hell do you mean you don't like Kabob, SHAME ON YOU!

The guys go out with Catherines and the girls go out with Roberts. They hate Level 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Iranians and have never heard of Level-6.

Level-6 Iranians were born in Iran but came here when they were 2, returned back to Iran when they were 8, came back to London when they were 10, went back to Iran when they were 11, and came back to London when they were 16.

They speak like Level-1 Iranians, however, have absolutely no idea who Pulp/Oasis/2-Pac were, and you wonder how they can speak English with such a perfect accent but pronounce the word "whore" like "wore". They find many similarities with Level-1 Iranians but ironically act more English. These Roonis have the biggest identity crisis out of all the levels.

Warning: Do not approach a Level-6 unless wearing anti-radiation clothing and holding a pepper spray. They are known to be paranoid-bi-polar-obsessive-borderline-personality-schzinophrenics. DO NOT ask them out on dates.

DO NOT ask for their phone number. If approached try to look calm, Level 6 Iranians can smell fear. Put on a fake French accent and politely tell them that you have to see your doctor about your halitosis problem, and quietly walk away. I am not joking around, I actually made the mistake of going out with one of these.

There are more sub-catogries in each of these levels, but I really can't be bothered to list them.

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Book of the day

Napoleon and Persia
Franco-Persian Relations Under the First Empire
by Iradj Amini

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