Audible words, muted voices

Few languages are as poetic as Persian. Or as soft and as harmonious. And I have yet to encounter another culture with as fascinating people as Iranians. Behind almost any Iranian’s eyes, there seems to dwell a deep, mystic river that looks as if it has been flowing for thousands of years. And a mere glance at an Iranian person’s eyes is enough to awaken this sense of familiarity.  We can almost always “see” when someone’s Iranian, right? To me that’s truly fascinating.

Since as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to unique voices. To storytellers that have shone light on themes in ways other authors haven’t even been able to emulate, to art so magnificent that it makes you feel that you yourself are the artwork and that the painting is your critic, and to strangers who magnetically pull you into their world before they’ve even finished formulating their first sentence.

This might be one of the main reasons why striking up a friendship with other Iranians in Iran has proven to be so challenging for me. It is in general quite difficult breaking the barrier of conversational conformity to reach the ancient river that sparkles behind the person’s eyes. Almost always expressing themselves in ways that seldom differ from other people’s way of communicating, both when it comes to passive and active communication.

It is perfectly understandable that there are similarities in how people growing up in a specific culture express themselves, but regardless, I feel that we need and should communicate about our way of communication. About the reflexive responses that we utter immediately after we hear certain things, about always giving polite responses without always actually listening, and most importantly of all – about conforming to society to such an extent that our own unique voice is traded for the “collective language”, a mere echo of the voices around us.

Few languages are as poetic as Persian. Or as soft and as harmonious. But since there now are so incredibly many people out there trying to be fluent in English or struggling to master the complex grammar of German, I cannot help but wonder if they feel that they already are using our own language the most optimal way they can. Because if we don’t speak with the voices we were born with or let the river behind our eyes flow onto our words and they merely are an echo of others’ voices, then how much do our words truly matter?




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