Category Archives: General

Our Family Review of Oznoz

Our Family Review of Oznoz
We have been subscribed to Oznoz for over a month and a half now and I am beyond thrilled with this site, the shows they provide, and the fact that we finally have options in Persian! I have three kids, a daughter and two sons (ages 8, 6, and 4) who are bilingual, with Persian being their second language. My kids go to Persian language classes and are learning to write in Persian. However, as learning any second language can be daunting, these classes are really forced and not that fun for them. So for every assignment they do I reward them with a cartoon from Oznoz over the weekend and they love it! I have even heard them sing the tunes to Hezar va Yek Shab (1001 Nights) around the house. They plead me to watch the shows. This in itself is a great testament to the entertainment Oznoz provides. However, as a parent, entertainment alone is not enough for me to allow them to watch a show. There are certain guidelines I have when allowing my children to watch TV or any show. The show must lack profanity and violence, and be educational or provide an ethical or moral lesson. And thankfully Oznoz seems to have the same guidelines as myself! My kids mostly watch episodes from Mixed Nutz and 1001 Nights. I feel like I’m sneaking in a dose of Persian language through their favorite medium, which is the TV! It’s a win-win for both the parent and child.
I also love the convenience of Oznoz because we have downloaded it to my iPhone and iPad and occasionally stream it to our TV with the use of Apple TV. It’s user-friendly enough that my kids can log in and choose their shows themselves. I also like that their shows are not too long so that my kids are not sitting in front of the TV/computer for hours on end. I wish I had known about Oznoz sooner so I could’ve subscribed to their Elmo and other early-education programs when my kids were younger.
Thank you to Oznoz for providing this amazing resource not only in Persian, but many other languages around the world. It’s great because I intend for my children to learn Spanish. And as soon as I get them started on Spanish lessons, I will be sure to reward them with their favorite cartoons in Spanish! Another notable advantage to the site is that they can watch the same cartoon they watched in Persian, in English. So if they are having a hard time relating to the cartoon (which is not the case for my children but I can see it being so for a multicultural family or children who have had no exposure to the new language before) they can also complete their experience in their preferred language.
I also decided to ask my kids in a fun little interview-style video of why they like it and here are their responses:

And here is a fun little blooper with our youngest chiming into the interview 🙂

Don’t forget to “Like” Oznoz on Facebook:
and follow them on Twitter:

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all my readers and wonderful supporters, and everyone who celebrates something around this time of the year, a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays followed by an amazing New Year full of health, laughter, and love. I am absolutely exhilarated when I hear from you, whether it’s for the feedback and suggestions you provide, our sense of unity when we can relate to one another through our experiences, or just your outright words of encouragement. Thank you!

Xmas2014

Here I have posted our humble little Christmas tree mainly decorated with trinkets and ornaments that the kids have made at school. To be honest, deciding on whether to celebrate Christmas was a bit of a cultural struggle for my husband and I initially. While we both love festive holidays, beautiful Christmas lights, the sight of Santa Claus with his white fluffy beard, and the feel of everything Christmas, we felt a bit hypocritical in celebrating it. It was almost like by giving into this celebration we may be losing a bit of our Persian identity. So we questioned ourselves, challenged one another, and eventually came to the conclusion that we would indeed be putting up a little tree to culturally connect us with the rest of America. However we were very clear to our children we did not celebrate Christmas as most others do. We were not going to be buying presents for one another. We often don’t have the luxury of visiting our parents and having a big feast with them at this time either. Instead, we will put up our festive tree, and spread the holiday cheer by donating toys to kids who didn’t have them. I feel like we have found our balance and SO FAR, we have had no complaints from the kids. We reserve the present giving and big fuss for our Persian New Year, Norooz, to make the kids extra excited about it.

It once came up during a cultural leadership seminar that I went to (specifically a PAAIA NexGen conference) , that for immigrants, it is natural to lose a part of their culture as they migrate to another country. If they didn’t, they would become a museum, rather than an integrated part of their new society. It’s true. As immigrants, we are morphed into something new, what can be a beautiful amalgam of two or more cultures. But the challenge remains; what aspects of our Persian culture do we want to leave behind, and what are essential in the keeping. Only YOU can answer this for yourself and decide what kind of amalgam you choose to be. But if we are representing the Persian culture abroad, and as we pick up new habits and traditions, I hope you will remember this for our future generation:

“He said that if culture is a house, then language was the key to the front door; to all the rooms inside. Without it, he said, you ended up wayward, without a proper home or a legitimate identity.” ― Khaled HosseiniAnd the Mountains Echoed

Wishing you all the best,

 PMSignature

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes!

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes!

دسگویند مرا چو زاد مادر ، پستان به دهن گرفتن آموخت

شبها بر گاهواره من ، بیدار نشست و خفتن آموخت

دستم بگرفت و پا به پا برد ، تا شیوه راه رفتن آموخت

یک حرف و دو حرف بر زبانم ، الفاظ نهاد و گفتن آموخت

لبخند نهاد بر لب من ، بر غنچه گل شکفتن آموخت

پس هستن من ز هستن اوست ، تا هستم و هست دارمش دوست

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Gooyand maraa cho zaad madar, pestaan beh dahan gereftan amookht

Shabha bar gahvaareh man, bidar neshast va khoftan amookht

Dastam begreft va paa beh paa bord, taa shiveh raah raftan amookht

Yek harf va do harf bar zabanam, alfaaz nahad va goftan amookht

Labkhand nahaad bar labeh man, bar ghoncheyeh gol shekoftan amookht

Pas hastaneh man, zeh hastaneh oost, taa hastam va hast daaramash doost

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Translation by Sanaz (Persian Momma)

They say the moment my mother gave birth to me, she taught me how to suckle from her breast

Through the night she stayed awake above my cradle and taught me how to sleep

She took my hand and walked step by step and taught me how to walk

Letter by letter, word by word she  taught me how to speak

She put a smile on my lips, taught a flower bud to blossom

Thus my being is because of her being and as long as we both shall be, I will love her

     ***********************************

A very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all you hardworking mommas and Persian Mommas who work day in and day out with love in your hearts, good intentions in your minds, and with every ounce of your being to make sure the next Continue reading “Not All Superheroes Wear Capes!” »

Norouz Spring Cleaning Charity Event

Norouz Spring Cleaning Charity Event

With our beloved Persian New Year نوروز (Norouz) approaching and the smell and sight of Spring not too far away (except for people in the Northeast of course, cause I hate to break it to you, but I heard you have another Polar vortex approaching) here is a great idea to promote Norouz in our communities and schools. I hope that one day Norouz will be as easily recognized in our community as Easter, the Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, and Christmas are.

At around this time, it is customary to begin spring cleaning for the fast approaching Persian New Year (Norouz), which always falls on the Spring Equinox. So, it would be a great idea to promote a clothing drive or some kind of spring cleaning event in our community and schools with Norouz in mind. Here is an event that my sister-in-law started at her children’s school. It was a clothing drive that benefited their local Big Brother’s Association for Norouz. You would need to get in touch with the charity of your choice while also getting the permission from your child’s school. It may help to begin with a locally recognized and supported charity so that the community you live in can relate. I hope that I can pull this off at my daughter’s school this year. We shall see 🙂 But even if I don’t, I hope I have planted a seed of inspiration that will hopefully grow as fast and tall as your Norouz sprouts سبزه sabzeh. Together we can benefit our community while raising awareness of our Persian culture and teaching our kids the beauty of charity and leadership.

 

NorouzClothingDrive

 

 

bani_aadam

The Persian writing above is Saadi’s poem used in the flyer and here is the Penglish for those who understand Persian but can’t read it:

Bani aadam azaayeh yek digarand         Keh dar aafarinesh ze yek goharand

Cho ozvy be dard aavarad roozegar         Degar ozvhaa ra namaanad gharaar

To keh ze mehnateh digaraan bi ghamy       Nashayad keh naamat nahand aadamy

There will be more on Norouz and crafts you can do with your kids coming soon! Stay tuned and as always I welcome your suggestions, feedback, opinions, and expertise!

با تشكر Ba tashakkor (with thanks),

PMSignature

 

What’s In Your Chocolate?

What’s In Your Chocolate?

I recently picked up a box of these chocolates at Costco after sampling them there and what a mistake! Not only because, well, I shouldn’t really be indulging in chocolate anyways. It doesn’t do anything for my waistline, but also it’s full of unnecessary chemicals and newer questionable ones that I’ve never even heard of!

MMs Chocolate Bar_0

It seems that even the red m&m on the wrapper was warning me to stay away! The second ingredient listed is PGPR. What the hell is PGPR and why is it in my chocolate? Shouldn’t chocolate really just be a few ingredients  (chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar)?

So basically here’s what I found:

Continue reading “What’s In Your Chocolate?” »

Sholeh Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)

Sholeh Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)

Sholeh Zard (Persian saffron rice pudding) has to be my all time favorite Persian dessert! I am constantly looking for excuses to make it. So you graduated from preschool? Let me make you some sholeh zard. Your relative passed? Let me make you some sholeh zard. We’re going to a party. I better make some sholeh zard.

If you know anything about Persians and their hospitality, you know that it’s taboo to return a borrowed bowl or plate empty. So, of course I am filling the bowl my friend had brought food for us in with Sholeh Zard and taking another to a dinner party tonight to share with friends. Desserts taste better when shared 🙂

SholehZard SholehZard2

Here’s my mom’s wonderful recipe that’s sure to bring a smile to you and your guests: Continue reading “Sholeh Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Pudding)” »

The Less Glorious Side of Parenting

The Less Glorious Side of Parenting

Often we are greeted with picture-perfect family portraits of smiling children, the toothless grins of a speechless infant, posts on Facebook about how great a family vacation is, news of friends’ children’s academic achievements, invitations to cupcake-filled kids birthday parties, and led to believe that being a parent is the most glorious thing on earth.

While I am truly grateful for the gift it is to be a parent, I don’t think (or perhaps I hope) I am not alone in feeling that parenting is no party. What we less commonly and openly share as parents is the less glorious side of parenting, the tantrums, the back-talk, the academic struggles, the emotional battles, sibling rivalry, and what it takes to mold your little one into what you hope will be a happy citizen and a valuable asset to humanity and society.

Continue reading “The Less Glorious Side of Parenting” »

Happy Mother’s Day (this time as a daughter)

Happy Mother’s Day (this time as a daughter)

This time I would like to wish all the mommas and Persian mommas a Happy Mother’s Day, not as a mother, but instead a daughter. A daughter to an amazing woman who I idolize and cherish, my own mother. A woman of class, grace, and a role model that I aspire to be. Never once did I hear or sense frustration in my mother growing up, as I may sometimes now feel when I am overwhelmed by my own responsibilities. She is my true Persian Momma! I love you mom. You are kind, sweet, loving, and have always been and are there for me, and my brothers.

mymom Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day (this time as a daughter)” »