Perspectives of a Persian

Nedda Pourahmady

Many people are fascinated by my Persian ethnicity. Every time I go somewhere, whether it’s the grocery store or the mall, people will ask me about my name and where it comes from. For those of you who are curious, Nedda means “a voice from heaven.”

In the Persian culture, we are known for being friendly and helpful. We are a close-knit community that shares in one another’s triumphs, joys and even grievances. Growing up, I have adapted to this community and have taken on many of the beliefs that are accustomed with this culture.

I think I am quite different from the majority of college girls here at Kent State because of the way I was brought up. I think many girls are very flirtatious and easygoing with all guys, but I was taught to carry myself like a lady and never let my guard down fully to any guy. Additionally, I was lectured time and time again about the so-called “traps” that guys will set for girls. I believe I am wiser as a result, as opposed to many girls raised the traditional American way.

There is, however, a dark side to being raised in an Iranian family. To begin with, my parents are 10 times more strict than the regular American parents. I am 20 years old, and I still have a curfew. If things weren’t bad enough, I live at home and commute to Kent State every day, thus enabling my parents to keep a close watch on me at all times. Lastly, being the only daughter and the baby of the family certainly does not help my situation, making my father even more protective of me.

Although my parents are overprotective, I do find a real sense of security being a part of my family. Even though I am unhappy with some of the ways I have been raised and wish I could sometimes have more freedom like all my friends, I know my parents care more than the average American parent.

Some benefits of being raised in this culture include being able to really stand up for yourself and what is right, truly caring about others and not having the urge to gleefully jump up on the bandwagon as soon as it rolls on by. I think it’s really a shame, and quite sad, how television and other societal influences can really impact this young American culture. I will never forget the time I saved my ex-boyfriend’s life after he had taken pain pills with beer and was driving us practically off the road. I feel that my upbringing prepared me to handle the situation accordingly. I forced him to pull over, and I took over the wheel.

I see that so many young people at our university are involved with drugs and alcohol. I am not saying having a little fun now and then is bad, but once again I have been brought up to stay away from any abusive substance. Being brought up in this culture helped me stay on track and keep my goals set, and I thank my parents for their guidance.

Nedda Pourahmady is a junior newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].