Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Persian language’

I’m forever trying to bust myths about Iran when asked about my visits and some of the questions I’m asked seem ridiculous when seen from my eyes and with my experience. But that’s the issue. I’ve seen some of Iran myself and experienced family life over there. I’ve bought fruit and vegetables, clothes, done the tourist “thing”. I’ve been to weddings and mourning ceremonies in the mosque. I’m not a practising Moslem but no one minded. I respect their culture and dress code just as I expect visitors and residents to respect our culture and expectations here in the UK.

The picture that the media portrays of Iran  is very different and whilst I understand that the political situation is controversial, the propaganda and unbalanced approach to the reporting is very frustrating. I’m not qualified to comment on politics be it about the situation in the UK/Europe or about the latest Middle East issues. It is complex and frankly very confusing so I don’t do it. Many may think this is a cop-out, but I could spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week trying to understand world politics and I honestly just don’t have the time.

I happen to think that there is room for more information to be made available about Iran from a non-political perspective. There is so much more to Iran than the nuclear debate, human rights issues and the religious tension and we will all get along better if we understand the different cultures and history and learn to appreciate our differences and similarities.

I found this quote on the net today. Sadly the author’s link was broken and I’ve been unable to trace its origins to give credit. I like this as it deals with many of the myths and attitudes embedded so deeply in people’s psyche. I know, as I get asked the questions.

  • No, I am not a terrorist nor a wife beater,
    I don’t live in a tent in a desert
  •  
  • I speak Farsi, not Arabic
    Iran is pronounced “EERAUN” and not “I – ran” (it’s not track & field)
  •  
  • News flash: Iran and Iraq are two different countries ,
    Middle east is a region and NOT a continent,
    And camels are not our way of transportation.
  •  
  • Iranian women are just as outspoken (if not more) and liberal as the
    European women,
  •  
  • Iran is the first country to have red white and green for a flag,
    A beautiful country ran by the wrong people
    But still the best part of Middle East
  •  
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

If you haven’t already come across Hila Sadeghi, the young Iranian poet, you are about to. Great poetry has been written by great Persian poets in the past and the rhythm and musicality of the language makes it perfect for this medium.

Written and spoken with passion, angst, disappointment and anger, Hila’s poems come alive as she delivers them to the receptive audience and she gets the recognition and applause she deserves for her talent, openness and bravery.

I’m not proficient enough in Farsi to really appreciate Persian poetry past or present-it is  difficult to translate poems from and into any language without losing some of the inferred meaning but even if you don’t speak the lingo, there is no doubting the meaning and passion behind Hila’s poems. She speaks from the heart. A brave thing to do.

Hila remembers Neda Agha Soltan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWAM7C3Q8vk

The Class is Empty without Your Presence

By: Hila Sedighi

It is a rainy autumn day.
The sky is about to burst
into tears
as if a cloud
is kneeling to pray
to the summer’s heat.

The school smells of the alphabet
The bells ring loud to declare our first recess

Our unsanctioned laughter and our naive joy
was met with constant rage and slander
These were our youth days!

It is autumn and the school re-opens.
I am filled with moments and memories in this classroom where you are no more.
I sit there at your desk that is topped with perished flower petals.

It is autumn and I am so full of rain
It is autumn and I am so full of rain
I am imprisoned by my own rage.

What a beautiful tomorrow we dreamed of
It is all in vain now.

What great times and what dreams we passed
searching for a re-awakening.

Me and you!
We were the generation that was not allowed to fly.

Me and you!
We were the generation that could not fly!

Enslaved in the claws of the falcon-
the same falcon who shot you in front of my eyes with its sharp claws!
The same falcon who shot you in front of my eyes with its sharp claws!

All our dreams died
and separated our hands of friendship.

You drank the poison of death,
and you left me suddenly.

I now swear to to the tears that roll down a mother’s face
And I swear to our eternal ideas
And I swear to each drop of blood of love
And I swear to the burning hearts in chains
My heart shattered in a hundred pieces and fell to the ground
The sorrow had cut my heart.

Tell me
Tell me if you are happy where you are.

Are you free in the other world?
Do yo still remember our younger years?
Do you still love your country?

Tell me, are there no perverts where you are?
Is the fate of trees indebted to axes?
Do they not steal your conscious over there?
Do they not rape your pride over there?

Are there signs of unknown graves where you are?
Do you hear the cries of the mothers?

Recite with me, recite with me
We shared our pains, our generation, and our way
Recite my poem with sorrow and sigh

Again,
it is the beginning of autumn
The sky is about to burst into tears

I am left with an empty chair where you used to sit
I am left with an empty chair where you used to sit
And the perished flowers on your desk.

Read Full Post »

After an interesting visit to the old Jewish Synagogue and Cemetery we made our way to the shrine of Pir Bakran, a Sufi saint and mystic who died in 1303 and after which this small town is named. On arrival the gates were locked, but the phone number of the guardian was posted on the inside gates. We called the number and within 5 minutes the guardian arrived on his motorbike.

The shrine is noted for the stucco work which is particularly ornate and it’s amazing to think how long ago these carvings were done. The mihrab and entrance doors are fine examples of the famous stucco and I hate to think how long it took for the craftsmen to complete them. The shrine is also famous for the surviving Kufic script which, when written in blocks as it is here, looks very much like a maze.

    

As Pir Bakran’s fame spread, so the building in which he preached was extended to accommodate the increasing number of followers who came to listen to him and several rooms were added. From the outside the shrine looks like it is a 4-story building but in fact it is only 2 storys high which is reminiscent of the Ali Qapu Palace in Esfahan which appears to be 7 storys high but is only 4. This is no coincidence as the architect and project manager of the Ali Qapu Palace was inspired by Pir Bakran’s shrine design and carvings 200 years later and some of the designs are reproduced in the royal Palace.

One of the rooms has a circular area carved out of the floor where apparently Pir Bakran used to sit and meditate for up to 40 days at a time eating and drinking nothing and surviving only by touching sacred stones which provided him with the sustenance he needed to see him through these lonely periods.

In an adjacent room Pir Bakran’s tomb, together with that of the shrine’s architect Mohammad Naghash rest side by side covered in green cloth.

The guardian was extremely helpful and very knowledgeable and again, this site is well worth a visit if history, Persian culture, architecture and design are what interest you. Unless you speak Farsi however, it is advisable to travel with a Farsi speaker who is able to ring the guardian and ensure that you get the most out of your visit. You won’t be disappointed.

Read Full Post »

Married to an Iranian it took me a while but in October 2010 I finally organised and prepared myself to visit this fascinating country. I had very mixed feelings about the visit but I was determined to go with no negative pre-conceptions about the ordinary Iranian people. Those I have met in Europe are wonderfully friendly, compassionate, fun-loving, respectful, hard-working and have all, without exception, welcomed me into their fold. I purposefully went with an open mind and all good intentions to embrace and respect their culture, just as I expect others to do here in the UK. In short, I was prepared for a really unusual adventure and amazing cultural experience.

I was not to be disappointed.

As a long-term depression sufferer however I was also aware that two weeks in a foreign country, immersed in a vastly different culture, with reduced at-your-finger-tip communication with my support network and the obvious language barrier combined with being out of my routine would put huge pressure on my ability to cope and may spiral me into a depression. That was the last thing I wanted but was it a genuine concern? There was only one way to find out.

I knew that I didn’t just want to be a visitor. I wanted to be accepted as an honorary “Iranian” Was this too much to ask or expect? I wasn’t sure but I found out for myself. Armed with my new Iranian passport and a basic knowledge of Farsi, the Persian language I was confident that I would survive the two weeks. The following posts will give you a flavour of what I have encountered during my visits so far which has been more positive, inviting and welcoming than the general media portray.

 

 

Pimsleur-Conversational Farsi– 30 CDs providing basic conversational Farsi. A very useful comprehensive introduction to the Persian language and enough to get you by. 

Read Full Post »

Hello! Salom!

Welcome to my new Blog “Persian Posts” where I hope you will find lots of interesting anecdotes and information about Iran the country and its people as seen through my eyes and not normally available from todays media.

I have used “Persia” rather than “Iran” as I prefer it as a name. There is something more mystical and magical about the name “Persia” which “Iran” just doesn’t conjure up. It is not a political decision or statement in any way and I make no apologies for my preference. 

I don’t pretend that everything I see, experience, photograph or write about is representative of the majority of Iran or Iranian people, but it is what I come across during my travels and I tell it as I see it. I am lucky in that I am married to an Iranian and we have a house in Sede, a town near the beautiful city of Isfahan (Esfahan). I have a large extended family in Iran and therefore unlike most travellers passing through the country I have first-hand experience of engagements, weddings, engagements, births, family meals and weekly get-togethers, outings and the daily routine of the working folk which is so very different from ours. 

I love the history, the people, the food (with a few exceptions) the buildings, the scenery, even the weather and all this combines to provide me with so much to write about that I have decided to open up a new Blog dedicated wholly to my visits to Iran and to share it with you.

Please feel free to comment on my posts and send me your feedback. It is always interesting to receive your opinions and thoughts and if you have any questions regarding my posts or the Iran that I have written about, please ask. If I can’t help, I know a man who can!

Thank you for visiting.

Caroline

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: