2 July 2009

Fotovat

It is an eye-opening experience to see your own culture through someone else’s eyes. I mean a non-Iranian; someone who has a fresh perspective about the traditions and culture that I am so accustomed to. I had this chance when I read Poets & Pahlevans : a journey into the heart of Iran by Marcello Di Cintio. I am reading it again. I would like to share one paragraph from this amazing book. It seems to be appropriate for these days.

"The Persians have a word for this: fotovat. It is the combination of unabashed masculinity with chivalry and kindness. The word is old-fashioned and is rarely used any more, but lingers in the memories of men like the prefect world of poetry and the skills of old wrestlers. I learned much from the Persians, and could strive for fotovat, but I would never have what they had. Through war and sorrow, revolution and oppression, crown and turban, through all that Iranians have lost and may yet lose, they will never lose this. Civility is their birthright, the gift of their culture, and the inheritance of poets and pahlevans."

From Poets & Pahlevans : a journey into the heart of Iran (p. 289) by Marcello Di Cintio 2006

7 comments:

Nader said...

In pop culture of old time they called it "Looti gari".

Daisy said...

oh... no! you just ruined the word fotovat for me. Now the only thing that comes to my mind are those old Iranian movies.

Nader said...

Oh....No!!!
But that is very interesting. I just checked Dehkhoda. It also defines looti gari az javanmardi va azadegi. Even though, in old Iranian movies, most of those lootis were fakes and not real javanmard. But dehkhoda's definition of fotovat is more comprehensive and applies to a wider characteristics and not limited to a certain group/class.
BTW, you can check Dehkhoda online. Did u know it?

Daisy said...

Did you mean http://www.loghatnaameh.com/

I didn't know about it. Thanks. It'll be very helpful. I always wished having a comprehensive online Farsi dictionary. Now I have access to the best one.

Nader said...

Yes Daisy! That is the site. I am glad it was useful for you. I always use the online version even though I have the CD too. The good thing about the CD is that it has a nicer format but the content is the same.

cuckoo said...

nice point of view ... thanks for sharing

Daisy said...

Hey cuckoo, I'm glad you liked it.