Fourth of July !

Traditions and Celebrations

American_FlagAs some of you know my boyfriend is Persian. Since he didn’t grow up celebrating the 4th of July like many of my American counterparts, he doesn’t totally get some of our traditions. The fun thing about dating someone from another part of the world is learning new cultures and traditions. I’ve learned so much about his home and I’ve explained things about America that he doesn’t understand.

I think the most interesting part of learning from each other is the historical aspect. I remember one of his Persian friends asked me what happened historically on July 4th, to which I explained it was the day we declared our independence from Great Britain. Information like this I take for granted, but to those who aren’t Fire_Worksfrom our country its a very new piece of knowledge.

Perhaps the best part of this holiday is sharing our nation’s history with those who may not know it.

So set off your fireworks, grill your burgers, sip your sangria, and be with your loved ones. Let’s show the world what we celebrate and how we celebrate! Happy birthday, America! This is my home.

~Liz

Exploring Culture: Going Persian!

More Than Expensive Rugs and Cats!

1185977_10201989214797850_1318163599_nSince I started dating my boyfriend last year I’ve had my little world opened to a whole new world and culture. The only thing I knew about Persians before meeting him was that they made incredible rugs and bread the cutest kitties. Needless to say learning about where he’s from was an eye opening experience for me.

Before launching into the little things I’ve learned about Iran, there are a few things I have to clarify. First Iranians are not Arabs, they are Persians. I confused that in the beginning and many other people in western cultures tend to do the same thing. Second, my boyfriend does live in the United States but was born and raised in his home country. We are in a long distance relationship but not cross-continental long distance! Finally, he’s bilingual and I’m not. But I’m trying to pick up some of the Persian/Farsi language.

One of the most fun experiences I had when I started dating Amir is trying new food! In the picture is chicken kabob and 1469858_10202710740075531_654018668_nsaffron rice with grilled tomatoes. I absolutely love this dish because the chicken is marinated in a yogurt sauce with tons of seasoning so its bursting with flavor. So yummy! We usually order/make with this tahdig, which is basically the browned part of the rice on the bottom of the pot. Its really crispy and tasty to eat!

Another fun cultural thing I got to experience is the yearly Nowruz celebration. It symbolizes the beginning of the New Year for Persians. It is celebrated at the beginning of spring because it is the beginning of new life after winter.

1966185_10203687907064095_1744256137_oI went to a gala for this event in Daytona Beach with my boyfriend and our two other friends, Shayan and Christina. Christina and I were two of the few Americans there to partake in this annual celebration and learned a lot throughout the evening. Granted most things were said in Farsi, she and I could get the general idea.

Finally, I’ve really enjoyed trying to pick up the language. There have been quite a few laughs that have resulted in me trying to pronounce certain words and phrases. So far I’ve learned a few things. ‘Salam‘ means ‘hello’ and ‘che toori‘ means ‘how are you.’ Another cute little thing I’ve picked up is the word ‘azizam’ meaning ‘sweetheart’ or ‘dear friend.’ Depending on the person you are speaking to will determine the meaning of the word. I’ve learned other words and phrases but none of which I can accurately spell for you!

What cultures have you immersed yourself in? Comment and share! 

~Liz

 

Summer Bucket List

 

What to do During the Summer

ca2f149dec9237f79b5ab54281bcc8f7Every year when our final classes are over and all of our finals have been taken we create a list of things we want to do over the summer. Relax, read a book, get a tan, have a summer romance, reconnect with high school friends just to name a few. Days and weeks go by and we tell ourselves that we’ll start checking things off our list tomorrow. Before we know it summer is over and we go back to our regular routine. Well this year I’m committing to my summer bucket list this year and so should you! Here’s 8 things I’m doing this season:

1. Learn at least 10 phrases in Persian

2. Study for GRE and identify 3 graduate schools I would consider attending

3. Get 500 followers on my blog (help me out guys!)

4. Develop arm muscles like I used to have10313061_10204133815131518_719930879624362428_n

5. Get 7 children sponsored through my World Vision ambassadorship

6. Identify 5 employers I would consider working for in Florida (my favorite state!)

7. Volunteer at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

And last but not least,

8. Lay in the sun and get my tan back

What’s on your summer bucket list? Comment and share!

~Liz