Persian Expressions

Many years ago, in an English language school I went to after leaving Iran, I learned a new game which was especially popular with the students from the Far East. It went like this: someone would mention an animal and the rest of us had to imitate the sound that animal makes in our language. Everyone found it terribly funny that, for example, a dog goes “woof” in English, but “vaag” in Persian. After all a dog is a dog, whether English, Iranian or Japanese. I learned with time that it was not that we looked different, or our animals sounded different, or our views were different, but that the real difference was how we viewed the world and each other, and that comes from deep within. How can we look inside and when we do, what do we see? I have recently been relearning a lot about my culture, or I should say, one of my cultures, as I identify with several. I refer now to Persian culture. We all know about the poetry, the great history and the unfortunate political events, but what about the essence, the real pestle and mortar of a society, which in my opinion is its humour? It’s very Persian to use language in many different ways, and so create humour. For example, in Iran we grew up exchanging all sorts of expressions from an early age. Someone would use one expression, we would laugh, shrug our shoulders and would use another one in reply. We would converse in this way, or as we say in Farsi, “we said flower, we heard flower”. I have relearned forgotten expressions along with many new ones. And then some became an image, an idea in my head. There were a few crazy ones and a couple of problematic ones, but I went along with the joy ride and it was fun. The result is my series, but nothing really means anything, until you give it life.