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There's nothing sensible about what we're doing — like hosting Iran's #1 English-language podcast... until we can't. So get that hashtag ready #FreeAskAnIranian


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There's nothing sensible about what we're doing — like hosting Iran's #1 English-language podcast... until we can't. So get that hashtag ready #FreeAskAnIranian




Baba, why did you circumcise me?

We put it out to our Iranian audience. We asked them if they prefer their men cut, i.e. circumcised. They mostly preferred it. We also asked them if they think being cut is a good idea. They mostly thought it was a good idea. Lastly, we asked them if they would have their next male child cut. They were kinda 50/50 on this. Where did the enthusiasm for circumcision in Iran go?! The practice of circumcision goes way back — like 15,000 years back. Yes, apparently Egyptians are depicted as...


How deep will an Iranian uncle’s love go?

You might have uncles, and you might have aunties. Iranians, however, have uncles, and they have uncles, and they have non-uncle uncles. This is because the titles given, differ, depending on the relation. Although this is not unique to Iran, there are many uniquely Iranian things that the world needs to know about Iranian aunts and uncles. What are they? Like any good Iranian uncle, we attempt to get deep into things. In this episode, we discuss the Persian words for aunts and uncles. We...


WTF are NFTs and why are Iranian artists into them?

[NOTE OF WARNING: please read below before setting up an account for NFTs.] How much is a really good replica of a Mona Lisa worth? It might only be worthy of wiping your rear with — which should come as no surprise to you. This is because she’s a one-off work of art, or “non-fungible”. The digital realm has brought many great things with its advent, but until recently, freely replicating information made digital ownership very fungible. This has changed with the introduction of Web...


What’s it like being Christian in a Muslim nation?

Jesus Christ! We love him! Muslims love him! He’s one of the prophets that we Muslims recognise. In fact, in the Quran, he gets mentioned by name 25 times, making him the most mentioned person in the holy book. You might also be surprised to hear that communities of Christians live among Muslims in Iran — yup! Jews too… but we’ll save that for another time. To help us learn what it’s like to be a Christian in a Muslim nation, we called on a Christian — not just any old Christian though. We...


Are all Iranian men mummy’s boys?

In Iran we don't refer to somebody as the special child of a family — we refer to them as the golden willy. And, we think that's cute, if not a little sexist. Fret not though dear sisters, because this is not considered a compliment. A golden willy, or "dodool talā" as we say in Persian, can also be described as a mummy's boy. For a gender-neutral term, we say "bache naneh" to imply that a person is spoilt. Now, are there multiple terms in Persian for this because Iranian men are mostly...


What MUST you do in Iran?

No, this isn't about tourist stuff — no, no, this one is about what you're kinda forced to do in Iran. And yes, you'd be forgiven for thinking that a list of what you must do in Iran would be longer than other nations — but is that strictly true? Well, probably yes. How much more, is something we go deep into, with this episode. As you might expect, there are dress codes that you must respect in Iran (for both men and women), and there are several musts that you won't expect. For example,...


Farsi or Persian — who’s wrong?

You might say you speak German, French, or Swahili, but you never say you speak Deutsch, Français, or Kiswahili. This is the logic behind people saying they speak Persian—when saying it in English—as opposed to saying they speak Farsi. Why let logic get in the way of your "feels" though?! You call it what you want! Farsi or Persian, Parsi or Iranian, who cares?! Oh, we do, kinda — enough at least that we'd make a podcast episode about it. To help us get into this much contested topic, we...


What is the most Iranian thing?

The Americans have obesity, the French have snobbery and the Saudis have hacksaws, but what is the most Iranian thing? To help figure this one out, we called on the help of our audience, and the results... were weird, in parts. We obviously got answers such as Persian rugs, nose jobs, and saffron, but we weren't expecting so many things related to the toilet. So, to help you get familiar with why the most Iranian things are the most Iranian things, be sure to check our website...


Fingilish, or is it Pingilish?

You make sounds — mouth sounds. You make them with intention because you probably want to ask your Pilates instructor if you can swap Tuesdays for Mondays. Other peoples do this, but with different mouth sounds — mouth sounds that have gradually found characters, and gradually become alphabets. This is pretty handy because it'll help you kinda figure out the intentions of peoples with very different mouth sounds. Pingilish (or Fingilish) is the Romanisation of the Persian (or Farsi)...


Why do Iranians think we’re better than them?

To Iranians, ze Germans are foreign, but ze Chinese… well, they're just Chinese! It’s the same with many other nationalities and ethnicities for Iranians in Iran — some are foreign and some are just themselves. This type of categorisation tacitly exists and is just… discriminatory. Yes, it’s kinda racism, but the good kind, right! Iranians will hold certain peoples in high esteem and although they won’t make their prejudices institutional, they will bestow privilege to those deemed foreign....


How much do Iranians tip?

You do it. We do it. Even educated Iranian PhDs do it. Let's do it. Let's show a little extra gratitude. So yes, Iranians do have a culture of tipping, but there are differences. Now, where, when and how should you show this gratitude when tipping in Iran — well, allow us to explain. In this episode we discuss how to tip in Iran by sharing our experience of such moments. We tell you how Iran is similar to other nation with respect to tipping, as well as how it differs. For example, you...


Why bother?

We want your questions, BUT... not those questions! No, we're not talking about the ones where we get asked about where men can meet men in Iran. No, no, it's that one question that we repeatedly get asked. It's asked by our parents, our siblings, our aunts and uncles, and most of our friends. In this episode, we answer that question. We would, however, prefer to answer your questions about Iranians and their culture. We would also prefer, try to get you the Iranian take on things....


What do Iranians vote for?

Yes, Iran has a functioning democracy, and no, this episode won't help you fully understand its complex structure. We can, however, help you understand that its structure has a presidential role. Yes, every four years Iranians will get out and vote for a candidate to fulfil this role. This year—2021—is one of those years, but rumour has it that not as many Iranians will go and exercise their democratic duties. This doesn't seem to just be a rumour, however! Some of our Iranian audience on...


What doesn’t happen at Iranian birthday parties?

Birthdays happen to the best of us, and Iranians are no exception. To make things worse, these yearly occurrences won't just happen once a year — no, no... Think about it, there are many Iranian birthday parties. There's your parents' birthdays, your aunts' and uncles' birthdays, your work chums' birthdays, and maybe even your pets' birthdays. In fact, chances are that you're planning for a birthday, or even an Iranian birthday, right now! Celebrations for birthdays are somewhat similar...


Can women play football… in Iran?

In 2005 our guest, Katayoun Khosrowyar, arrived in Iran, fresh-off-the-boat and completely unaware of how her visit would change the direction of her life, as well as the lives of other Iranian women. This isn't because she turned up without a headscarf and had to borrow another woman's, but more because of her role in shaping women's football in Iran. Questions we also get answers to in this episode Find Kat Khosrowyar on Twitter and Instagram Music credit: “Mahvash, Parivash”, Jalal...


Are All Iranians Hairy?

An inquisitive English lady by the name of Lucy got in touch with us, hoping to settle a question that has been on her mind. She lives on an artists' residency with an Iranian, and this gentleman seems to have aroused her curiosity. What Lucy is curious to know is, are all Iranians hairy? To help settle at least one part of Lucy's curiosity, we asked our Iranian Instagram followers to help get her an answer to this, and other Iranian hair-related questions. Obviously, our loyal listeners...


Flight stories… what’s Iran got?

What better way to derive stories than to surround yourself with unfamiliar people, in an unfamiliar place, and with unfamiliar expectations. One specific way in which you can do this is to simply take a flight. Yes, just one trip on a plane is all you need to gain ample resource for reiteration at soirées, thereafter. It is very unlikely that we'll be seeing you at a soirée, so we thought we'd gather our weird and wonderful Iran-related flight stories, right here. Aside from the...



Iranians are not ones for saying no, but occasionally when they do say no, they don't actually say no. Having said that, they will either be polite with you while not saying no or will be impolite with you when indicating no. This is because Iranians, like others around the Middle East, will indicate no, with a "noch". "Noch" is an onomatopoeia describing the sound made by Iranians when responding with a no to a yes/no question. This negative response is mostly accompanied by the raising of...


How do I propose to an Iranian girl?

This is Amir, minutes after proposing to the girl that's grabbing his face. She said yes, and the day after, Amir went to her parent's house to do it as it should be done in Iran. Don't be Amir — run it by the Iranian parents first. Welcome to part 1 of 34 in a series about Iranian marriage. To start things off, we discuss the Iranian courting custom known as "khaastegaari". If you yearn for an Iranian girl and wish to take her hand in marriage, this episode is for you. Or, if you're just...


Which Iranian national anthem is which?

The most fun part of any Olympics is when the medals are given and you get to experience the differences between national anthems. Unfortunately, you'll be listening to the American, Chinese and Russian anthems more than you'd like, but on the odd occasion that an athlete from a lesser-known nation wins, the fun begins. When an Iranian wins a medal—usually for wrestling—your ears will be blessed with the fine music of the Iranian national anthem. Look closely at the athlete though, because...