7 Steps to Becoming an Honorary Persian

I swear ever since 18, everywhere I turn my life has been filled with Persians.  I was having brunch with Shari and Adam and we were laughing about what expectations come with dating a Persian.  I tried to teach him a few words and terms of endearment to tell Shari like:

  • My jiggari (Piece of me, but technically a piece of liver)
  • Dooset duram (closet to I love you, but means I like you)
  • Azizam or joonam (dear)
  • Juju (cutie, sweetie, bug  but means a bird)

 He looked at me with sort of a deer in the headlights look and I said, don’t worry, I’ll send you my cheat sheet that I created with common Farsi terms that helped me. 

The first Persian I met was my best friend, Maryam Joon.  She introduced me to Persian music; she made us a CD with Arash Arash and Broken Angel, which I and my other best friend Sawaiba jammed out to without knowing the words.  She taught me Farsi phrases, making sure to kiss people on both cheeks, how to drink doogh, and so much more.

Then I learned a little bit more about the culture when I dated P.  Little did I know how much the Persian culture would play a role in my life? I got thrown into the culture when I dated S and had to learn everything, even attempting to write cards in Farsi to his maman.  Now I met Shari and she has adopted me into her family. I am having dinner with them soon and she looked at me and said, you’ll fit right in my family.

  1. Cha-e (Black Tea) is a must with every meal or gathering or just because.
  2. Persian music has to be playing on the radio at all times. Persian music, you don’t have to understand it, but most have a nice beat.  If all fails, just download Radio Javan or Bia2 on your phone.
  3. No party is complete without: Dancing, lots of food, and hookah. 
  4. Kabobs.  You will be disowned if you do not like kabobs or kubideh. Learn to love it.
  5. Salam and khodafez.  When you enter a party, you must say salam (hello) to everyone and do the cheek to cheek kiss. Once you are leaving, you cannot just disappear and leave the party, you must go to each person and say khodahafez (bye) and many times, you’ll say it again and again…an hour later, you are still saying goodbye. 
  6. Eating etiquette. Very similar to the Vietnamese culture, when someone firsts offers you food, you say no. If you were little, I would run to my parents and they would come up ask once more. My parents would say no. Finally, after a third time, I’d look at my parents and they say ok. Always say no twice and then take the food offered the 3rd time, whether you are Asian or Persian.
  7. Salamati! Salamati is similar to “cheers.” Never come to a party empty handed. Period. Come with something, even if it’s just candy.

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