7 Things You Need to Do For Persian New Year (Nowruz!)

To all our Iranian peeps, as well as the Kurds, Zoroastrians, Sufis, Ismailis, Alevis, Alawites, Babis, Bahá'ís, and many of the brave folks in Crimea and elsewhere throughout the world, NOWRUZ PIROUZ!

12 Things to Call Your Persian Lover

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, so we thought there's no better time to compile a list of unique Persian terms of endearment for you to shower your sweet love with. Many of these terms are similar to those found in the English language, while some are quite different, and would almost be insults (or nonsensical) in English.

The Surprising Poetry of Persian Colors

The Persian language is an inherently poetic one- rather than being direct and functional (like English, for example), it is infused with metaphor, allegory, and song. This bleeds into the culture and rituals of Iranians (again, think of the tradition of Tarof), but is subtly present in everyday simple speech as well. A great example of this is in the naming of the colors.

11 Persian Sayings That Make No Sense in English

Translating idioms and sayings into other languages is always an exercise in humor- often, you've repeated them so many times without thinking about what is literally being said. We decided to make a list of the 11 funniest Persian sayings and translate them literally into English, along with a photo accompaniment of their literal meanings. Try to take a guess at what they actually mean before reading the explanations below.

Video: Ahjeel Interview with Leyla Shams

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Amin Etemad of Ahjeel (right after he interviewed Maz Jobrani! I wish I'd practiced a few more jokes). Ahjeel is an online network that publishes different interviews with leaders in the Iranian American community. Amin asked me many thought provoking questions about Chai and Conversation, leading me through a journey of how it started to how we got to where we are now.

Video: The First Four Persian Words You Need to Know

In this video, we introduce Graham, a new listener to the Chai and Conversation podcast. Graham wants to learn Persian for an upcoming trip to California, so we teach him four introductory words he needs to know in order to have an entire conversation in the Persian language.

Shazdeh Koochooloo, Iran’s Little Prince

Although The Little Prince (translated as shāzdé koochooloo) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is not a distinctly Persian novel, it has a very important place in the heart of Iranians. If you’re not familiar with the story (where have you been?!) The Little Prince is a beautiful story about a pilot who meets a little boy in the desert, and through a series of conversations, delves into the depths of the topics of life, love, death and everything in between.

Presenting our video about 'Tarof'!

This is a short video describing the concept of Tarof, the Persian form of etiquette, to people who may not be familiar with it.

Presenting our first video for Nowruz 1391!

It’s almost time for Norooz, the most important holiday in the Iranian culture. This holiday marks the beginning of the Persian calendar and occurs every year at the exact moment that spring starts. This video goes through some of the vocabulary associated with the Persian New Year, called Nowruz. Also, for the first time, see Matt and Leyla in action! As always, PLEASE ENJOY.

R.I.P. Legendary Designer Bijan

The legendary Beverly Hills designer known simply as Bijan died today at the age of 67. He owned what was known as 'the most expensive store in the world' on Beverly Hills drive, a store open by appointment only. In his many years as a fashion designer in the United States, designed clothes for some of the most powerful men in the world (including Barack Obama and several other sitting presidents).