Being an Iranian, it isn’t surprising that I don’t see many people on campus that are like me. As a result, I don’t get to experience my culture here as I would back at home. I’ve learned to sacrifice my lovely mother’s home cooked meals for Tapingo orders, late night runs to crossroads, and really anywhere else I can get food. I can’t make Iranian jokes with my friends exchange Nowruz traditions. I don’t get to practice my native tongue as often as I would with family and friends.
I knew that there were involved Iranians on OU’s campus, but I didn’t really know where to start with being involved, so I simply started with attending Farsi Friday. Now, I don’t speak Farsi, but it’s not like i’m completely blind to the language either. I recognize the language when I hear it and I understand bits and pieces. Regardless, I didn’t know what to expect going to the meeting. When I first arrived, there were a group of students conversing and I was given a warm welcome by the woman hosting the event; she asked about where I was from and my family. We were given chai, Persian tea, and cake with a touch of saffron. While this wasn’t a full on cooked meal, this simple combination felt very familiar and at home.
Farsi Friday ended up being more relevant to students enrolled in Persian language classes, being that it was basically a mini tutoring/review session, however I got to speak and meet with other people from OU that came for the sake of being present. I got to learn about other people’s traditions and practices as an Iranian in America. It was wonderful to watch non-Iranians be so fascinated and absorbed in our culture as they were eager to learn.