Iranian House Parties, Teaching Spanish and Peter

Last night I went to an amazing house party that was thrown by my boyfriend Peter’s extended family!

His mother’s side of the family is Iranian, so I got to experience what it was like! His Aunt Patty was celebrating her daughter’s graduation, and she went all out inviting family and friends of the family. It was so extravagant and fun.

For one, the house was beautiful and huge. Appetizers were literally everywhere, so it seemed almost like the main course. People of all ages were there, and everyone was either drinking Sadaf, which is this amazing cardamom tea, or wine.

However, the most impressive part was probably the DJ that she hired to play music in the living room which served as a dance floor! I think I had the most fun during this part of the night because I got to unwind and follow my boyfriend’s moves and those of his other aunt Juju (who is about the sweetest woman that I’ve ever met). I had a lot of fun incorporating hand movements into the dance—one such move is to act like you’re unscrewing lightbulbs above your head with both hands. Peter’s favorite is to use what he likes to call ‘gypsy hands’ which is mostly smoothly rolling the fingers in a fluid motion above one’s waist. I was surrounded by about 15 people of all ages! Peter said that was his favorite part of Iranian culture: everyone dances. He also said that Iranian women don’t take their heels off to dance. It was true. Honestly, I was most impressed by the woman who jumped all five times during the Cha Cha Slide in her heels.

The music they played during the dances that had Farsi lyrics were mostly electronic which made it easy to dance to. Thankfully they included a lot of music with Spanish and even a few French songs.

His family was amazing and super accepting of me (at least on the surface level) even though Peter is the first in his family to come out as openly gay; however, I wasn’t particularly thrilled when Peter later told me that the hand motions that his uncle was making towards a girl on the dance floor meant that he was trying to set them up. There was only one instance in the night when I caught somebody disapprovingly looking at us, and that was one of the more conservative white families that were invited (we were just sitting together eating dinner… quite the scandal).

This post is basically going to be entirely related to my boyfriend, but he’s giving me a lot of good material to write about.

He’s letting me teach him Spanish! So far, he can give directions by reciting this rhyme:

Izquierda, derecha
Delante, detrás
Cerca, lejos
Y algo más
Abajo, arriba
Enfrente, encima
Y ahora, muchachos, se acaba la rima.

He learns super quick! I’ve been teaching him the basic phrases that he needs to know, but I’ll get some grammar in there too. His pronunciation is really good (mine is awful when it comes to French, but he can do that as well) for a beginner.

As for me, I’m hoping that I can finish another Spanish book before going to Spain and reading/listening to as many articles and podcasts in Spanish as possible to get my ears used to it again. I’m going to read El Alquimista by Paulo Coelho since I’ve already read another one of his books, Once Minutos.

It’s not going to be easy getting back into Spanish after having a semester off!

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