zan o mard mard o zan


Rosie T.
by Rosie T.

When I entered this blogging community last October people often used to ask me "Why Iran?" It's strange. Nobody ever asks me that anymore. They just say "Rosie, you're one of us."

But they used to ask me that question a lot. And there were so many reasons why. But they were all really part of one big reason, like so many facets of one brilliant diamond..And so it was very hard to answer. But one of these facets of this diamond was linguistics.

                                      *     *         *

You see I'd studied no few European languages to greater or lesser extent. Germanic, Romance, Slaviic. And of course they all have relationships among them. And for quite some time I'd wanted to study a more remote Indo (Aryan)-European language to see what whispers perhaps still remained of our collective memory from when we were all one tribe wandering the great steppe of Eurasia, over five thousand years ago. So since so many other facets of the diamond were already shining, I thought I should learn Persian. And so I did.

And the first whisper I heard of those collective voices was when I learned the words zan o mard. Mard was simple. Mard, mordan, marg/martyr, mort (Fr. death), mortal, morgue. Man, he who dies.

Zan was little more complicated. Zhena (Russian, woman), gyn -- (Greek, as in misogynist,gynecology), gen -- (Latinate, as in generate). Hence, woman, she who creates, who gives life.

Zan. Zendegi. Mard. Marg.

And so the collective whispers told me that we are different. Man--finite, limited, enclosed, bound for mortality, death. Woman--open, unlimited, infinite, undying because creatrix of all life.

Zan o mard. Mard o zan. We are different, these ancestral voices whispered

Yes, we are different. Or are we?

                                        *      *       *

Digging deeper beneath these depths, it is impossible not to see that this "difference" between the essence of zan and mard parallels exactly the Chinese Taoist symbol of the yin/yang, its underlying principle of all that is. The yin--female principle, open, formless, undefined, soft, circular, weak, water. The yang--male principle, closed, finite, formed, straight, hard, strong,stone.

They are different.

But in Taoist cosmology what is essential is that the yin/yang both contain the other. And are destined to become one another. Because this is the way of the Taoist, And the Tao is usually translated as The Way. This containing of opposites is perhaps most evident in the martial arts, the greatest of which is tai chi. . Where the one who can surrender comppletely is the srongest fighter. It is the way of least resistance. The Tao is they Way of Strength in Surrender, of opposites embracing each other. eternally, in endless flux.


                                   *      *         *

There are parallels of course in biology. The sexual cells of the embryo after conception are still undifferentiated. And as we age, we begin to acquire the characteristics of the other sex through hormonak changes. And in between, if we are lucky enough to really be able to surrender to the act of love, there too we become each other.

                                    *           *          *

I hate generalizations about any group. Ethnic, national, religious, political, etc. I hate them because they cause hate. And hatred is always a form of war. But most of all I hate generalizations about sexuality, homosexuals are this way, heteros that, men are from Mars, women from Milwaukee.. Because we generalize and categorize and hate to have power.

And our deepest feelings of powerlessneess (impotence--poder in Spanish, both to be able to and power) I believe come from inadequacies we feel about our sexual identity. Because we are different. But in reality we embody each other and both in an endless cycle of flux. .So perhaps our categorizations about sexuality are at the root of all hatreds. Because hatred is a play for power. And sexuality is perceived as power.

And there is nothing uglier than the gruesome war between a man and a woman for power trapped in polarization, in difference. When a man becomes hard and silent as stone, and a woman wet with hysterical (hysteria-Greek, wandering womb, think hytorectomy).

                                      *      *          *

I thought I'd fought out these wars since my youth, first with men and then within myself and both.  And I really thought I'd won them to a large extent. And achieved some balance in flux, integration. So I odn't really understand howt it could happen to me at the coming of the completion of a half century of life, I could succumb to such roles, categories and polarization. Thie old war game of we are different. Is it perhaps because I'd really made so much progress that it was time to face a far greater contender than I had ever faced before? Or is it simply that all the victories I thought I'd won over zan o mard mard o zan within and without were never victories after all? That I was mistaken all along.?

I don't really know.

All I know is you have been my greatest contender.  And I've been fighting a war I didn't want to fight. The ugliest of wars I'e ever seen, of a man gone hard and silent as sstone and a woman wet with vicitimization. And the more I say the less you hear and the less you say the more I hear. And it's all so typical and so cliched and so guresome so bloody and it's all just deafness anyway.

Yes you've been a most fearsome contender. As silent and ugly as stone..

And I concede complete and utter defeat. I can no longer fight this war

And I realize it is time to go back into myself and once again face the zan o mard mard o zan within me until they embodiy and embrace each other in an endless cycle of flux. I must fight this war deep in me. Hear its whispers and cries deep in me. It is lonely and frightening to go in once again but there is nothing, nothing on earth or in hell as fightening as your silence of stone.

Yes, you've been by far my greatest contender.

* * *

I have lost. I give up.

I surrender.

Which I suppose must mean I have won.

In a way.


Recently by Rosie T.CommentsDate
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more from Rosie T.
Rosie T.

I have a pretty good idea...

by Rosie T. on

By jove I think I've got it!

Will explain as soon as I can, it's a little complicated but makes perfect sense to me...l


R.  :o))



by Mazloom on


We need to find a linguistic here to explain what this word originally was supposed to mean. Apparent the word could mean any of these, alive (opposite of dead), dead, dieing, disheveled, distressed, nonsense, disturbed.

My non-expert opinion, the word, by mistake or not, could even mean hysterical as you have mentioned it in your blog!!!







مرت . [م َ ] (ص ) زنده . مقابل مرده mart اوستائی taخ mar [ بارتولمه 1148 رجوع شود به نیبرگ ص 146 ] به معنی مرد، مردنی و ظاهراً مؤلف در نسخه ای جمله ٔ ((به معنی مرده باشد که در مقابل زنده است )) را دیده بوده و اشتباهاً به صورت متن درآورده است . (رجوع به حاشیه ٔ ص 1981 برهان قاطعچ معین شود).

');" id="fn163646">۞ . (برهان قاطع) (انجمن آرا). || آشفته . پریشان . پراکنده . (ناظم الاطباء). مرادف ترت است و ترت و مرت یعنی پرت و پلا. پریشان و پراکنده :
زین یکی ناصر عباداﷲ خلقی ترت و مرت
زآن دگر حافظ بلاد اﷲ جهانی تار و مار.


explanation of the word "Mart"

by Mazloom on



I'm going to copy and paste the meaning of the word from loghatnameh dehkhoda. It is confusing to me whether the word means "alive" or "dead". Apparently a compiler has confused "mard=man" with "mord=died", and has caused the word "mart=alive" to be defined as "mord=died", I think!

I hope you were able to follow all of that.

Rosie T.

Hi again

by Rosie T. on

It may have to wait til Monday. I can't spend any more money pay by minute and probably won't have access to a free computer til Monday. But I will do my best. Please keep checking.



PS I just wrote a brief new blog, The Long Goodbye. Pls. check it out.  :o)))

Rosie T.

Jeesh Maz Ebi Soori

by Rosie T. on

I willhave to postpone my long goodbye til tomorrow. I was exhausted today. Tonight I HAD to do the political stuff because a baby step was actually made in the disccsiion.

What I didn't see in Jeesh's post was an answer toe question what is MART. Or am I blind?




Rosie T.

Dear humble goldfish who knows everything about me and how

by Rosie T. on

I think I know everything:

I don't have much time here so I'll go fast

1. Regarding my argumentative nature and how I think I know everything:  see ,y recent my blogs and threading (can't paste links go into my account and tracking): Fascists Everywhere, To Everyone on the Pallywood Thread, Zion's Pallywood, and my On This Website War and Concession, and the thread Being There.

2) Regarding my superficial knowledge and interest in Iran, read everything I wrote last year through January, then this year read The Persia Within, I Beliieve in the Internet (second part), vermillion,.

3) Regarding my abuse of people who support me you don't have to supply links, just names of people involved and/or specific topics. If you can't do this you don't have information, just a general fuzzy impression, Fuzzy not good enough for ad hominem attacks.

I have more to say but I odn't have time. So...

Look, person who knows everything about me, stop using me as the excuse for your problems. You are your problem and a big one too. You are PROJECTING your own deep feelings of inadequacies and self-loathing onto me. Don't say I'm proving your point by being cruel to you, you came here with VICIOUS intent, I'm being truthful. Your arguments are so full of holes, so ill-conceied...they are TERRIBLE. 

Oh yeah, right, thanks so much for wishing me luck.  You're SO...nice,,,



i am not any of these people

by Anonymous90210 (not verified) on

RT, I am not nazanin or the mrs. or anybody but myself. A HUGE " NOT a FAN OF YOU"!!!! In all my years here, since the early to mid nineties, I have read harsh, vulgar, opinionated and even highly offensive articles, (in addition to the many fantastic, original, thought provoking and truly genuine postings). None of them have ever irritated me as much as you.I thought for a while, JJ was making you up, as a practical joke. You talk down to anyone who even has a slight difference of opinion from you, and even in some cases rip the head off of people, who are actually defending you (I can't refer you to the blogs as an example of these, but you know what I'm talking about!, because either you've erased them or you've bullied the poor people who actually stood up to you to run off or erase them themselves). You come here not to provoke thought or dialogue, but to humiliate, degrade , raise havoc, and rip to shreds anyone who's not a worshipper of rosie.
All you seem to want to do is show off..(i.e. Please pat me on the back and high five me, I've memorized a few poems, learned a few words and am now an expert on you peoples language and culture!). If you were an actual nice person, less obnoxious, less narcisstic and genuinely interested interested in dialogue, then your attitude here , your replies and how you treat people would reflect it. All I see in you Rosie, is a fake & a fraud with a superficial interest in a different flavor, so dropping by here once in a while, assuages your over inflated ego. Take a page out of your friend Nadia's book. I have never once seen her be rude, opinionated or anything but genuinely interested in Persian culture,people, language , customs and even food. Print this if you want, or don't , I have spoken my piece and how I really feel. I will not speak for other people, unlike you I don't have the answer to everything.Good luck, I too will be a much less frequent visitor to this site, thanks to you and your minions.


You should stay

by Robin's fan (not verified) on

Dear Robin, you should stay! Look at this n.zanin canadai who promised to leave but she never left (actually worse...she has 2 ids now, writing the same boring stuff; plus more "negh, negh, negh"!!!).
In your case, you're smart, daring and original. You're not nagging and you don't seem to be so desperate to be at the center of attention, no matter what.
Don't listen to these who want you out. First they need to keep their own Please, don't leave!!!



by PACIFIC (not verified) on

I enjoyed reading your last blog and look forward reading more. I think you are an intelligent and witty person. Because you have a deep,truthful, assertive voice, you are fair in your discussions. No one is liked 100% of the time by 100% percent of the people, but I think you are in the high 90's. :) lol. Also, if i do say so myself, you shouldn't soften up, people need to listen to an assertive voice which is an iranian woman's. That is key.

Rosie T.

Maz I said it had to wait til tomorrow because I have to get

by Rosie T. on

access tp a free computer.

I know I know you're on the edge of your seat. No worries.  Ma~nana.



Rosie T.

Okaycan we start from the beginning?

by Rosie T. on

I10 f you're Nezanin, why do you call yourself the Mrs? I thought you were single.



What happened to

by Mazloom on

What happened to explanation of zan o mard, life and death?  I'm still waiting and there is only 27.7 hours left to the deadline.  Yes,yes, I know we can email but this is more fun. 


Souri Joon: Thank You

by TheMrs on


I remember saying I don't care if you think my original post to Rosie was harrassement. I want to be loved. I really do.

As far as my audience, if I ever had any...well, I am who I am. If someone thinks what I say is interesting. Cool. Otherwise....still cool. Perhaps I need to work on softening my edge a little. Think before type. I'll take your advice there. But I think that would make me boring.

I don't think disagreeing, questionning or even being rok means that I'm systematically at odds with anyone. I've never been at odds with Ebi for example. I've noticed that the ladies here don't like me much and take many of my comments as being at odds. Chi kar konam dige kheily naz nazian va man kharidaresh nistam.

About the Bahai blog, I did learn my lesson. My voice won't be heard on most political/religious blogs, I don't even read those articles anymore.


Jeesh Daram

Hello Ebi

by Jeesh Daram on

Thanks for the references and also the entertaining video.


Rosie T.

Ebi toooooo funny! "Hysterical" in the BEST sense of the word.

by Rosie T. on

and not only appropriate for linguistics but for real life situations.


Rosie T.

Souri, the first problem w/so-called Nezanin is that I was

by Rosie T. on

referring to a person called Anonymous the Mrs. Whether she is Nezanin or not I don't care.  Both are equally bitchy. You see the problem, which we've spoken about before is that your English is very good but you're just not there yet at catching subtext and subtleties. BOTH POSTS ARE SOOOOOO  BITCHY.  Incredible.  

I am fed up wiith this individual whoever she may be.  If indeed she knows who she is.

And I HONESTLY didn't know that you'd even replied to it yet.  Why would I? I saw a reply to Nezanin. I was referring to someone else. REALLY. I'm not kidding.



by Souri on

Waiting for your email.


Rosie T.

Noyou see the problem Souri is that I was speaking of a person

by Rosie T. on


ebi amirhosseini

Baabaa Khare Maa Az Korregi Dom Nadaasht !!

by ebi amirhosseini on

In honor of phonetic, etymology,linguistic,phonology, syntax :



by Souri on

1) Nazanin addressed her comment to " you" the first time...Then she referred to you as " she" because she was addressing me, in her second comment .

You better read the people's comment before judging. You did it with my
comment too, last time . Please be faire.

2) About Anonymouse : I was/am agree with him in all he said about the website, in those two blogs.

3) No matter what was the drama you endured which caused your decision of
leaving, you should think the same way for others. What is not so
important in your eye, could be a drama for others. I believe it wasn't
so easy for Anonymouse neither, but nobody tried to understand him.

Rosie T.

Thanks, Etiquette. I am TOTALLY DELIGHTED that Ebi and

by Rosie T. on

Jeesh disagree with me.  Otherwise they might have just said, nice work! and I never would have learned more about them. Even just NOW, I never knew Ebi had a degree in lit!

Whatever the outcome is I just found out that I have a fellow linguist on this site!  I HAD NO IDEA! (Jeesh SAYS he's no linguist but I beg to differ....well Ebi knew what Jeesh knew...maybe it's just a standard part of undergraduate education in humaniteis in Iran.  We NEVER learn etymologies in the US until grad school UNLESS we are linguistics majors...


Rosie T.

Don't bet money's a sticky wicket...these issues are

by Rosie T. on

quite complex...I need to see what jeesh writes me first and then I need to read his posts very carefully tomorrow.  At the end of the day I probably have familiarity with (not KNOW) eleven languages but IT CANNOT BE ARGUED that jeesh knows Persian better than me, not to mention Persian philology like the back of his hand...


Rosie T.


by Rosie T. on

(( I only Boldface my long commetns to make them EASY TO FOLLOW, it doesn't mean I'm mad or shourting, just that people complain I'm too verbose...)




LEAVING IN THAT BLOG. It was a SATIRE about people saying they were leaving in GENREAL.  It was FUNNY.  There's a difference between gentle satire and sarcasm!  People LOVED it.  Niki fro one..  Now, the fact that TWO WEEKS later I announced I was leaving giving  was aa PAINFUL personal situation involving my three closest friends herend IS serious.  The question should have been, since I am known as a person of integrity (by anyone who has a brain in their head or ever heard the word integrity) WHAT WAS SO TERRIBLE THAT IT MADE ME CHANGE IN TWO WEEKS?  I said I was leaving permanently and Qumars  blogged to stop me, he said the site NEEDS me. I think he is one of the most brilliant people on this site. We NEGOTIATED. At the end I BLOGGEd that I was giving iit TWO WEEKS and then leaving for a MINIMUM of two months and then coming back and focusing on the political threads and staying IF and ONLY IF the personal situation became livable.  Tomorrow is the end of two weeks. And I am writing my last blog and leaving.  I have said it in various places.  I said it to YOU on your good-bye blog.

As far as Mouse is concerned as well, if you WANT Souri, I will be HAPPY to give you a DETAILED ACCOUNT of what transpired on Mouse's first blog "So Disappointed in this Site" and his second one sayingh e was leaving that made jj and me so pissed at him on tthat second blog.  We totally agreed.  He   We were right.Just TELL me and I'll DO it. It's detailed. I have a memory like an elephant. 

That is why I SATIRIZED it instead of beating my breast about him leaving. . But my blog was harmless and funny: it said things like "I am leaving this site because there is too much pro-IRI material/I am leaving this site because there is not enough pro-IRI material." It wasn't about Mosue per se BUT Mouse did NOT deserve my or jj's condolences, he did some really inappropriate things. REALLY bad.

SOURI I"M ANSWERING YOU.  BUT PLEASE DO NOT ADDRESS THIS INDIVIUAL AGAIN UNTIL SHE HAS THE DECENCDY TO REFER TO ME AS YOU INSTEAD OF SHE LIKE A DOG ON MY OWN BLOG.  No offense, I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at whoever this creep is, and I'm STILL offended at Mouse for the way he treated jj and me in particular AND EVERYONE ELSE IN GEERAL ()by deleting his first blog with over 300 posts that jj let run for four days after TWO hours notice...).

BUT the SATIRE itself was about him, Nezanin and others who spoke about leaving...two weeks later the catastrophe happened with Nadia, Maz and JJ.  Maz and I made up, Nadia and I aren't speaking and JJ and I are...well... as bad as it was


Rosie T.


by Rosie T. on



I bet my money on Rosie

by Mazloom on

She has knowledge of eleven languages and she has mentioned mard zan marg zendegi before, so I have confidence in what she says.  I bet all my available money on Rosie.  Come oooon Rosieeee, don’t let me down.



by Anonymous90210 (not verified) on





by Souri on

I don' t want to interfere between you and Rosie, or you and any one
else...I know Rosie was sarcastic about Anonymouse departure and I do
agree with you, it wasn' t nice. I didn' t like it at all neither. Just
see how everyone remember Rosie's blog about that, so they will
remember your reaction to her too. Now, you will answer " I don' t care
what people think about me"....I know you don' t, but Nazaning jan, DO
CARE please. Just a little bit, so that there will be at least one
audience, even little group of people, who listen to what you will have
to say.

We are here, in a community, so we can' t pretend that we
don' t care about the people, if we didn' t care really, we wouldn't' t
be here, reading and writing.

I usually read your blog. I
deducted you are a smart girl, you read a lot and you have lots of
knowledge. But being systematically at odd with the people' s opinion,
scares them. People would rather to ignore that person whom they don' t
understand the motivation.

Sorry my intrusion, dear. It's all
about my own perception. We have had a conversation on my blog about "
Feminism" then I read your convers. in the Bahai blog and now here
with Rosie...

My perception is, you first go too odd at the
beginning, then you expose your view....which is most of the time
irritating for the person you are debating with.

PS: Losing can sometimes win us more things !

Losing bad habit = winning more friends

in my case , losing 30 pound = wining better look :D)

Take care.


Comments Etiquette

by NoMrsFan (not verified) on

The Mrs., a.k.a. Na-Zan-in-Canada has spoken again! In response to her 'legitimate questions' I have some 'legitimate' points for her:

A. Ebi has a degree in Persian literature and Jeesh Daram seems to also be very knowledgeable about the subject. That's why they talked about the subject of words, not because they are men as you stated. What's your excuse for speaking up without any knowledge or anything good to say???!! I hope it's not that you are a woman!!

B. Please represent only yourself, Mrs. Angelina Pitt. You do not represent the many decent and considerate female contributors and readers on this site.

C. I hope Rosie stays. I hope you leave. Really.


Souri joon this is a

by AnonymousTheMrs (not verified) on

Souri joon this is a legitimate question and I'm confused. I thought she was leaving and yet I keep seeing her. So I would like to know if she is leaving or if she has changed her mind and staying or if she wants to pretend like nothing happened. I don't follow every blog and I'm just asking for an update about when she is leaving? if at all. I remember how sarcastic she was to Anonymouse when he was leaving. So, no one is allowed to pick on her majesty? Oh PUHLEEZ
On the second point, as you can see from other comments here, there is no validity in how mard and marg have been associated. and Zan and zendegi. It's one thing to have a fictional peice as this appeared to be, or at least a play on words. It's another thing to get deep into etymology without proper care to at least verify the information.
Now if you think this is harrassment, be it. I couldn't care less. If I have a question, I ask. I see no need to constantly praise.
But I think I need to have some kind of taghireh jens. Because so often I see irrational statements and illogical conclusions by some of the women on this site that I'm left to believe that I probably belong to another gender.
For sure, every peice of writing here can be beautiful. That is entirely subjective. But as you can see, it is the men in this thread that rushed to provide verifiable information. I would assume that if one is to write about etymology, one would at least bother to check a couple of things.
Besides, What does this mean:"
I have lost. I give up.
I surrender.
Which I suppose must mean I have won.
In a way. "

losing, giving up, surrendering and winning are totally different things. Linguistically, one cannot lose and win at the same time. unless the loss gives you some kind of gain on a different front. In which case, it would make sense to go into it. Otherwise, it's just words.
I think we should admit that there's really no standards here. And that goes for me too, I'm not declaring myself to be the best at anything. But come on dige...
Rock on