Some of the most interesting relationships are those that are intercultural. I have always thought about how they have become so much more common, but not without some surprises and new learnings.
Meet Jemma & Amir. An American girl…dating an Iranian-American guy.
Read Jemma’s dating story.
Guest Blogger: Jemma Douglas
When I moved to Boston a year ago, I knew ZERO Persian people. In fact, I barely knew what country “Persians” came from. If you had asked me, I would have stared at you blankly and shrugged. All I really knew about the country was that SNL did a funny skit about its president sometimes.
But that was all before I met Amir at school.
Ironically, before I came to school my parents joked that I would come home with a middle-eastern prince. Lo and behold, I met Amir, whose name even means Prince. They were shocked that their prediction had come to fruition within the first 2 weeks of school. Although they were excited about their fortune-telling abilities, I think that the fact that he was Iranian also made them nervous. My first impression of Persian people was that they’re a bit hairy…and outgoing! Both of these have turned out to be pretty true, generally speaking.
At first, I must admit, I was very nervous to meet his family. I have met plenty of people from different cultures but never as someone’s girlfriend. Thoughts that went through my mind: Would they hate me because I’m not Persian? Does Amir have a wife all lined up and I’m going to be seen as that dumb white girl? What if they make me wear a scarf on my head?! In retrospect, these thoughts are totally ridiculous, small minded and ill-informed. Immediately upon meeting his family I was welcomed, fed, and made to feel like one of the family. Iranians are some of the smartest, most educated, and generous people (sometimes to an extreme point, and I know that is called “Tarof”) I have ever met.
The hardest thing for me coming into Persian culture is accepting how laid back everyone is. One of the most beautiful concepts I’ve heard is “Ghesmat a bahd” which I’m sure you all know means “go with the wind.” How awesome is that?! My plan for the day is to go where the wind takes me—I love it. Beautiful concept…except when it is related to going somewhere. Iranians tend to “ghesmat a bahd” and are usually late to things! I hate being late. Regardless, I love the idea, I love the freeness, and Amir is helping me perfect my own version of it.
Thank you Jemma for this post and for sharing your story!