|More People Face Challenge of Balancing Ethnic Identities|
|News Releases - General Info|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Tuesday, 15 October 2013 12:54|
NYC-raised, Iranian-schooled Woman Says We Should All
Embrace & Preserve Cultural Traditions
What does it mean to be an American? The answer to that question is changing.
It’s exemplified in stories like that of Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani, raised in New York City until she was a teenager and then transplanted to Iran for her high school years. Her experience trying to balance two vastly different cultures while recognizing the beauty in both was difficult but ultimately liberating, she says.
“I was a Brooklyn girl and my parents were quite ‘American’ although they were Iranian natives. My father wanted me to live in Tehran for a few years so I could experience his culture,” says Farsijani, whose new book, “Lacking Lips of Time,” (http://lackinglipsoftime.info
“I witnessed much beauty living in and attending school in what used to be ancient Persia, and I embraced it, but I had to do that while adapting to a much more restrictive, religiously observant, culture. It’s a fine balancing act between conforming and staying true to who you are.”
Farsijani says poetry helped her synthesize her feelings and appreciate the beauty – the people, culture and land – around her. She later went on to earn her MBA, became a noteworthy journalist in Iran and traveled extensively, eventually forging a new career in the United States.
“There is no way to quantify the numbers because our government does not ask an immigrant’s religion,” Farsijani says. “But we can assume more pronounced diversity of religious and cultural colors on America’s family quilt, including Islamic and Hindu faiths.”
Acceptance of these different faith perspectives helps make the U.S. a stronger union, Farsijani says.
“America is beginning to look more like New York City in terms of diversity,” Farsijani says. “My hope is that we are able to appreciate our common humanity.”
About Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani
Shaghayegh “Sharon” Farsijani has a cultural background that is as diverse as her poetry is sensual. Born in New York City, she moved to Tehran with her parents, a native Iranian who wanted her to experience the culture of her ancestors. She eventually made her way to California, then to Paris and finally New York City again. After working as a reporter, graduating with her MBA and traveling extensively, she embarked on a journey to write with a deeper focus, culminating in her first book of poetry.
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