Iranian or Persian?

Something that most Iranians who live abroad have realised is that a lot of people from Western countries tend to be more accepting of us when we say that we are Persian, rather than Iranian, associating it to Persian carpets, Persian cats and Persian food (bah bah) rather than, well, other things. Maybe it doesn’t really matter to us since we ourselves can use them interchangeably, but by avoiding to call ourselves Iranian, we help them maintain whatever prejudice they may have of us.

I hope I’m not alone in thinking that all Iranians who live abroad and who choose to hide behind a Persian veil to conceal their Iranian selves instead ought to put a more positive spin on the words ‘Iran’ and ‘Iranian’ by attributing it to themselves. Because if we feel that we are good people but at the same time suspect, feel or fear that the person we’re talking to has a distorted or bad view of Iran or Iranians, we should help them sort that image out by allowing them to associate something that is good (i.e. us) to the words that otherwise would evoke negative reactions within them. And besides, it might even make us feel better about who we are and where we come from.

Mahyar

2016-10-18

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One thought on “Iranian or Persian?

  1. You know, I’ve never lived abroad so my opinion might change when I do but right now I can strongly relate to them when I put myself in their position.
    I don’t want other people to think less of me judging by the country I was born in, I totally agree with the author when he delicately mentions “we should help them sort that image out by allowing them to associate something that is good (i.e. us) to the words that otherwise would evoke negative reactions within them” and I might as well make the afford to explain to some friends about how things are in Iran and how not all the people from Iran, are not terrorist or what ever the media is trying to implant in their mind, but it would drive me crazy to justify myself to any person I meet so that they don’t hate me or be afraid by me.
    Hell I might even lie about my place of birth or not mention it, in order to avoid the unfairness…

    On top of all of that, I don’t believe in borders and the day will come when future people will look back at us laugh at us for even inventing them, separating ourselves under the false impression of lack of security and delusion of patriotism, but that’s a whole another story which not gonna bore you with.

    Cheers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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