This is for all the Persian’s who read Part I and requested a Part II.
Maryam would like to mass produce these posts and send it to all non-Iranianian people. #PersianLove
Plus…after having to take urgent papers for Maryam to the Iranian Embassy, she was like you are more Iranian than most. If you ever have to visit the Iranian/Pakistani Embassy…be prepared to wear a scarf, all women have to cover their hair and they will automatically speak to you in Farsi. I had to be like wait, wait, wait…All I understand is Salam and Khanoom Linda (Hello and Miss Linda).
I think sometimes people forget I’m not really Persian. The other day we were at a party and there was a traditional dish called “kashke bedemjan.” I asked what it is and Taban said, come on you’ve had this, you’re Persian. I said, I do not remember this dish that sounds like cashews and you forget, I’m Vietnamese. May it be that I am a poor representation, but I am still Vietnamese.
If you missed Part I, click here.
Over the years my Sanam(s), Maryam, or Shari have all laughed and corrected me on one or maybe all of these aspects that are very stereotypical of Persian. Debbie was intrigued to see if my experience is similar to Shahs of Sunset being an outsider looking in.
So here are a few things for you to know to help you fit in and a few of my mistakes that I’ve made.
- White BMW. Persian men especially drive a BMW and it must be white. If you are Persian and it’s black or grey…what were you thinking? And wait, it’s only a regular 3 series not an M3?
- ***C relayed from other sources that they prefer black BMWs and not white. I have heard both, so we agreed that it is either black or white, but it is a BMW only in either case.
- High heat tolerance. I swear Persians have a genetic mutation where they become heat resistant, especially concerning food. They can drink tea at any temperature and it does not burn their tongue. I on the other hand cannot, I either have to let it cool or when I am super impatient (Always), I will put ice. I was having tea with Shari’s family…she and her dad gave me the oddest look and said you cannot do that. I said, but it’s hot, she tasted it and said no it’s not. Again, Asian heat tolerance is a 2 versus a 15 on the Persian scale.
- Persian Rugs. Persians make the best rugs, hands down. Don’t you dare buy any other rug…Ok I have to admit, I don’t have one because I cannot afford it, but Maryam actually had her engagement party at a huge Persian rug store. It was very cool.
- Black on black. If you ask them what they are going to wear, the answer will always be something black. I was at the store with Sanam A the other day and she tried on a really pretty green shirt and she said no because she does not like the style or the collar. I looked at her and said, No Sanam, it’s because it’s not black. We bought the same shirt at Nordy’s and you loved it. Hence, look at this outfit that C has on. C claims he does not even own a white shirt and in almost 100% of our pictures he has something black on, so do both Sanam(s). #Blackonblackhowpersiansroll
- ***I was also informed that over the past few months, C has added some colored shirts into to mix and 2 white shirts. I know, I can’t believe I am that out of the loop on his shopping life. I am dismally ashamed as his deemed fashion advisor and social planner. But both Sanam’s still prefer black.
- Swear to God. Honestly, this is a phrase that everyone says. Next time you are around a group of elderly Persians, listen. My friend’s parents say it ALL the time. I also hear Maryam use it at times too. When I am at the mall and I hear “swear to god,” I can turn around and sure enough, the person is Persian.
- Persian food. Learn the basic food names. The first time I tried to order at a restaurant, I was trying to impress someone; unfortunately, I was trying to order baghali polo, but called it boogili boogili. Yep, I was an embarrassment. My suggestion…Read the menu and just point. The servers look at you like you are an alien. This is one example of them making fun of me.
- 13Bedar. I learned the hard way because I kept calling it 13Bedar…nope, the official name is sizdeh bedar. This is a big event 13 days after the Persian New Year, where you spend the day outside and come in your house after midnight as a way to start fresh. Sizdeh=13 in Farsi. Maryam was laughing so hard when I called her and said…Happy 13Bedar my friend. She was like…OMG…why hasn’t anyone corrected you?
I always joked that my kids are going to be confused because they would go to school and say Happy New Year three times (Jan 1, Vietnamese, and Persian). I loved it because I expect 3 gifts for each New Year! I thought this was adorable, but Maryam and I we always wish each other Happy New Year, this year we even did it at the same time!
- Fire Jumping. Everyone knows that every year, there is a huge party where people jump over the fire. The first year I went, no one explained the purpose of jumping over the fire, so I thought it was a game to jump over as many as I could. I think I jumped over 10. Technically, when you jump over the fire, you are getting rid of all the bad memories and starting new. The celebration is called Charshanbeh Soori. It’s probably one of the hardest words to say, I used to mumble it. When I asked the translation, originally I was told “Happy Wednesday.” To learn more…here is the link to Wikipedia!
- Gold. They love gold. Everything has to be gold and preferably real gold.
- Doogh. This is a carbonated yogurt drink. They love it. I’ve tried it and it has taken nearly 10 years to become ok drinking it. I will drink a glass here and there, but it is definitely an acquired taste.
- Dress Code. People asked why I had so many party dresses. Well, it’s because they always dress up and especially for parties. Even if it’s a house party, you have to be glam. Even just a night out at a local bar becomes an dress up type of night. And of course they are gorgeous…Look at Nammie in the black. She could easily be a model.
- Evil Eye. Everyone has an evil eye. It’s a sign of protection against “bad juju.” I have one in my house and I wear a bracelet every day. I also give it to my best friends as gifts too. I gave one to Yasi Joon for her bday and Aline took mine off my wrist to protect her. Sanam A does not leave the house without it. One night she was at a hotel room and wouldn’t leave until she went back up to get it. Laugh all you want, but the day I got in my accident, I forgot my bracelet because I rushed out of the house. That’s all I’m going to say.
A few other things to know:
- Iran Pride. I felt bad for the place we were at, a few non-Iranians walked in, I’m sure they were like OMG where am I at? Look at how much they supported Iran in the World Cup! And totally off topic, but they have the most adorable babies. Look at this little man…isn’t he the cutest?
Hopefully you learned a little, laughed a little, and know enough to become an honorary Persian as well!