Friday, December 31, 2004

Reading habits:

As I have written before, Iranian culture is rather verbal than written, hence most Iranians find it rather boring to read. They mostly prefer to *hear* words & stories than to *read* them. So the reading time is very low in my country or at least that is what I've seen.
Reading time in my home, however, had always been an important part of a day schedule. Ever since I was very young, even at the age of 3, my dad & I used to lie on my parents bed while he read out books to me & later to my sister. Books in my little world, represented warm & cozy feeling.... One of my best memories are based on the time my dad was reading "One-Leg-ogre" or "DIVE-YE-LANGOO" as we call it, to me. It is a folklore story & is one of my favorites.
As time passed by & I grew up, books became essential part of my life. My mother thought me how to use the dictionary when I was 6 & first started to read books in higher levels. & from then on, I kept checking it for my answers to everything. I never asked questions but rather find them on my own. Maybe that's why I'm so obsessed with books! I carried them everywhere & being an intense reader, I was never satisfied with the amounts of books I was reading. I always wanted more, more & more. Having very diverse interests, the books I read were about different subjects... novels, science, math, history, geography, philosophy & a lot more. I remember easily when I first read Nietzsche; I was hardly older than 10 & I kept checking my dictionary & encyclopedia but it was an amazing experience. Later when I was 17 I read the same book again & honestly I was wondering how I could have read it at that time!!!!!!
Most my friends (well except for Katherine) are not much of a reader. & that's a shame. The few of them who do read, mostly stick to novels or text-books. They are mostly *too* busy to do a serious reading & that somehow disturbs me. I love them all dearly yet I do have the right to criticize them. That's really a shame that most of the books in most Iranian families are either text-books or superficial novels. But well, I am not the one to talk to, cos maybe they do the right thing sticking to one subject rather than having a taste of everything....

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Family time:

How do we spend family time together? Does this mean what we do when we are at home & have nothing to do? We watch TV, read books, play cards & talk.
Perhaps I can explain it more by telling you how my family spends the evenings: my mother is retired now so she is home most of the afternoons. My dad comes home at 5 pm. & that's usually when every family member is home. We, unlike most other families, have dinner in early evening. & the dinner usually takes an hour since everybody talks about their day & stuff. Then I usually come to my room & others watch TV or read books depending on the situation. My dad likes to play cards a lot. So it is a family tradition of ours to play in the evenings. & most of the time my mom & I play against dad & my sister. Sometime dad plays with Fabiulla (my sister) or my mother. Spades is one of our favorites & I like to play hearts too. We play other games too like poker, 21 & some other games that I don’t know the English word for. Backgammon is game originated in ancient Iran & is very popular though I rather playing chess when it comes to play board games. In family gatherings we play bingo a lot.
Hmmm... This post has turned into a post about games more than spending family times together! My folks don’t like to go out very much. We rather stay home & chat away the evening than going to a restaurant, Movie Theater or something. When I was younger, we used to go to movies & watch kid-movies but nowadays we prefer to watch CDs at home. Instead of eating out, my parents prefer to order food & have it in the quite of the house where we can easily talk. Going to theaters though is different... once in while we would watch a good one in the main city theater hall.
Weekends which is considered family time too, is usually spent with my close relatives. We hardly stay home at weekends. If the weather would be nice, we would go out to my aunt's mansion in Alborz Mountains. & if it is not, the whole bunch of us, would gather in one of the houses. So on weekends either you are a guest or you entertain them.
What else? Oh, yeah, my parents *love* to shop together... even for smallest things they would go out together. My dad is known for his extraordinary shopping habits though; he might buy the most useless objects & find a *use* for it while my mom tends to buy the most useful ones & not really using them. Well, they are quite a pair!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Divorce in Iran!

Very interesting subject! Actually this bizarre friend of mine keep popping motivating questions & honestly never ever these subjects would have crossed my mind without his help*.
We live in a somehow traditional country where by default divorce is considered a taboo. Unfortunately for most Iranian woman, divorce is the last approach. Though I understand the benefit it has for keeping the family together, I feel that some ladies go under a lot of unnecessary sacrifices while they can save themselves the pain. But that is just my personal opinion....
The process of getting divorced in Iran is a long, painful procedure.... & it is meant to be to avoid the breakdown of the family. & I know that most of the laws are unfortunately for men & it leads to unhappy marriages. Living in a loving & happy family, I am far from talking about the results of an unhappy marriage on children... yet through watching others it is obvious that everybody involved in the marriage (including the poor children) is affected badly.
Interesting point is that getting divorce is the easiest part considering the post-split problems that may occur. Women suffer more from these post-split problems as I like to call them. Our culture is mostly based on man-dominance & though it is slowly changing still the stone-age rules shadows some aspects of our lives. (Ridiculous as it is, in stone-age Iran was mostly governed by women.... *sighs*) So a divorced lady has to be very cautious & self-conscious about her behavior in the society.... she must "behave" herself! A widow is not usually welcomed. She is sometimes treated like she has a disease & must be kept in quarantine....
Well, that's not the whole society notion. We have quite a few family friends who are divorced & we never did have a problem with them. & they do live the way they want to still even the most laid-back of them claims to have a lot of problems.
In my generation however, the attitude toward divorce is changing quickly & although it's sad to see all the numerous divorce files filling in these days, it is good that we have learned to accept the fact.
I personally think that it is due to the fact that the new generation is more self-centered than our parents. We like to consider our own benefit more than the whole society's. Hence we tend to walk out when there is something threatening our own happiness... the same fact can be mentioned about brain drain & immigration. Iranians are the most highly-educated immigrants in the world. That is tragic.... well, that's a totally different issue I might want to talk about later.
Meanwhile, two are my friends are getting divorced in USA.... they are both family friends & we are all the same age as each other. I had been there when they fell in love; when they decided to get married; when they said their vows but I can not be there for them now. & it is hard for us who remained here.... we thought that they would last forever. They lived our dream alive... being so in-love & so young & charming. Where all the love goes? The girls has been one of my best friends... when her soon-to-be-ex (how sad it sounds) called me last time he said: "I'm happy I took a chance & lived with one of the best girls I knew... but there was no way we could work things out. We grow up & it's time to live as adults we are not as the teenagers we used to be!"
Enough of me posting sad thing.... I shall keep my happy mood! It's Christmas time for heaven's sake! & my birthday is coming up so... yeah; I shall live it up a bit & maybe go out with my crew!
* Remember the friend who asked me about boyfriends? He is the one who asked for a post on Divorce! C. you're a socialist, aren't you? Go find the answers yourself hun!

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Yalda came & went. I always wonder how little facts makes this night memorable. We listened to traditional music & read Hafez which is always the best part of it. & I got to eat a lot & I mean a lot of stuff! Mom says that Yalda is the ideal time for gluttons! I love Yalda night! This year for the first time I was the one who read & interpreted the Hafez poems. It is a custom that an elderly member of the family does this. My mother is usually the one who reads the poems & I usually read one or two for myself & sometimes for friends. This year however, it was my honor to do all the reading....
We had a pretty cool discussion about Ferdowsi too. Shahnameh reading is a fading Yalda custom, which we like to practice. I wish we could read something by Nezami Ganjavi who has great poems about famous lovers like KHOSRO-SHIRIN & SHIRIN & FARHAD. & to think of it, we didn’t read anything from Mollana either.... instead me & my sis played some parts of Arash the bow-man which is one of my favorite myths.
Just one regret for me though, I didn’t make a wish! Well, I can always save my Yalda wishes for my birthday so....
Ewwww.... its 1 am again! I must catch some Zzzz. Tomorrow will be a long day since I have so much to do! Good night....

Monday, December 20, 2004

Breathe by Faith Hill

sorry the song had got me bad!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Marriages in Iran

Or how do we get married? Well, that's a fairy good question. Marriages are being dealt with in tow systems in Iran: first would be the traditional way & the second, the usual (modern) way.
I am not going to talk about the traditional system since it is not that much practiced nowadays or at least in the part of society I am living in. in this way, usually the family is the one who choose the spouse for the child. However if you are interested in knowing the details I would be happy to help.
In the latter method, the person him/herself chooses. Most of the time, the boy & the girl know each other before hand & either had been boyfriend/girlfriend or intimate. & most of the time when they mutually decide they want to share their lives with each other, they inform their families. Family blessing still plays a very important factor in our society & although I know quite some people who eloped to get married, it is not considered a common practice.
Usually the boy's family visit the girl's in a session named KHASTEGARI. This session is borrowed from the traditional system & is aimed for the two families to get to know each other. People typically talk about the whole marriage concept, the place the newly wed would live in, the parties & ceremonies & usual stuff in this session. & it is mostly formalities since mostly the couple had talked about it all before.
The next step is engagement. There would a small party for close relatives at the bride's house & the groom's family brings gifts for the girl & announces the engagement. & the bride & groom change the engagement rings. Some people will have their religious blessing at this ceremony yet others wait till the wedding ceremony to say their vows.
Then it is time for going on a shopping spree for the wedding... buying bridal gown & accessories, the traditional mirror & candle-holders, the wedding rings & other jewelries. In this step it is a tradition that groom would buy the girl's things & the bride would pay for the groom's.
The wedding ceremony is usually held along with the religious vow exchange. & it is generally held at nights. The guest would forbid the couple late at night to their new home & the marriage life begins. The next day, the guests bring in the gifts for bride & groom in PA-TAKHTI, which is a ceremony held at the newly-wed home & then the couple leave for the honey-moon.
In large families, like mine, the post-marriage parties take about a year to be fulfilled, since it is a tradition to invite the newly-wed couples for the first time as PAGOSHA. & yeah, this is the way Iranians get married in a nut-shell.
Well, I must admit I don’t like this kind of approach either. If I am ever to get married, I would take my fiancĂ©'s hand & go to a trip & then I would go & live in my own place with him. I hate parties & ceremonies & the way they would be aggregated into galas sometime. & it would leave the bride & groom weary & tired all through the honey-moon.
Forget it... aha! Anyhow did you know that we use the same word for both month & moon in Persian? We call them both: MAH. So the word honey-moon in Persian has a double meaning, it means a month of sweetness too!

Life's not a bed of roses...

I didn’t even knew I could be so disappointed & nor did I ever think I would want to leave the city, the country I adore so much. Honestly I never comprehended a simple hurtful experience could cause so much hatred that would lead me to consider the option of immigrating.
I really don’t want to talk about the horrible. & I don’t intend to act on impulse & let my anger take the best of me. Yet there are some good reasons for all of us who had been involved to take our leaves & say goodbye to the land we love.
Immigration would be like saving oneself & let others drown but what else we really can do? If only I could make my family leave with me... but I cannot. & I know in time, this intense urge of running will subside & I will get back to live in the same old frames I had been living for the past 24 years. However, I know that something's changed & some other things would never change.
Still I will remain & fight. I will make a change & I will make my generation see the freedom, it is seeking. Let's join our forces to defeat the despair.... we can do it!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

What's this Again?

Arabian Gulf? Check It Out Please! It's a Way to Show objection...

How do we get married!

Dear Lynne the movie you refer to is rather an old one.... It had been a very successful movie in it's time cos it refers to a social problem that is hardly talked about: girls who run away from home.
Well, it's not illegal for people to date but it's not legal either! I mean we have some kind of a cultural barrier in this special area. The Islamic hardliners do not agree with "dating" or "courtship". They tend to believe in stone-age rules & set-up marriages in which the engagement time is the time to know your supposedly future spouse.
However, hardly anyone I personally know had got married with a set-up marriage. Even my grandparents knew each other & sort of dated before they got married. My own parents had been BF/GF & all of their siblings had courtship time & dates!
Governmental forces still tend to pick up on young people from time to time but it is becoming less & less.... I mean we are going through changes & dating is widely practiced nowadays. Folks go to movies, restaurants, picnics & all... (except for clubs for we do not have them). & they talk on the phone. You can find hand in hand young couples everywhere....
I will write more about it.


It's the one thing I am not good at! Cheating is a cheap way to gain victory & that's not my style. While most of my friends are specialized & have master degree in Cheating, I am proud that I had never cheated...; well, practically anyway I cheated once; However in my opinion that didn’t count... since it was a way to show the class objection to an obligatory test. (Everybody actually was cheating... I just wrote the whole answers & passed them on!)
There is no point in cheating in my opinion anyway. You either know the answer or you don't & there is no other option there.... I have heard a lot about learning by cheating; & for sure it works but to me it's only an excuse. You have to deserve what you gain & you have to do it the right way.
With all said & done; it seems that I would know nothing about cheating techniques which happens to be totally untrue! I have learned a lot from my sister & friends! So I don’t think my young students would have a chance to commit cheating in the final exam!
Yeah, BTW Thursday would be the last session of my class!
Ps: To Shahram: it was hilarious! I mean it! The "it's just me... don’t bother yourself" comment was one of the best I have heard over the years! Well, everyone my dear friend made a very (I mean VERY) silly mistake & there he goes: it's just me... don’t bother!


What's this with Arabian Gulf? there is no such a thing as Arabian Gulf! It's only one thing: Persian Gulf & it will Stay forever Persian Gulf....