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Lesson Transcript

Mohammad: Hi everyone! I’m Mohammad!
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome back to PersianPod101.com! This is All About, Lesson 10 - Popular Culture in Iran. What are the main topics we’ll learn about in this lesson, Mohammad?
Mohammad: In this lesson, we’ll look at the top five pop culture topics in Iran.

Lesson focus

Becky: Ok, sounds great. What are they?
Mohammad: Persian television, popular Iranians abroad, music, sports, and international pop culture.
Becky: All right. Let’s get started with popular TV in Iran.
Mohammad: Let’s start with the TV station IRIB. The name stands for "Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting" or "Sazmane Seda va Sima" literally meaning "Organization of Voice and Vision" in Persian. It’s the only official broadcaster of Radio and TV programs in Iran. It's one of the largest media organizations in the Asian region, and has many associated centers within and outside Iran.
Becky: It also broadcasts programs for Iranians living outside Iran via satellite in different languages. Okay, Mohammad. What types of TV programs do Iranian people like to watch?
Mohammad: Most of all, they like to watch TV drama series, and social and comedy shows. The most popular one loved by all ages is "Kolah Ghermezi", about a little boy puppet character called "Kolah Ghermezi" with a red hat, who does funny things and makes people laugh.
Becky: Okay. Now let’s continue with our next topic – popular Iranian people abroad. There are many successful Iranians, especially in the fields of science and education, living abroad.
Mohammad: One of them is an Iranian scientist named Samuel Rahbar.
Becky: That’s right. He discovered a link between diabetes and a form of hemoglobin used to identify plasma glucose concentration. He later won a special one-time National Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association.
Mohammad: Another distinguished Iranian is a neurosurgeon and medical scientist. His name is Majid Samii, who earned the titles of "World Physician 2007", and received a "Friendship Award" from China.
Becky: Interesting! And who else do we have?
Mohammad: Have you heard about the movie "A Separation", Becky?
Becky: Yes, if I'm not wrong, it's an Academy Award-winning movie, and also won the Golden Globe and Golden Bear awards in 2012.
Mohammad: That’s right. The screenwriter and director of the movie is actually from Iran, and his name is Asghar Farhadi. He was selected as number 4 in a list of the 100 most influential people in the world, in 2012.
Becky: Wow! Okay, let’s hear about the last well-known Iranian person in our list.
Mohammad: Sure. Next up is Iran's famous weightlifter Hossein Rezazadeh, who has won many international medals, including Gold at the Olympics.
Becky: He is called the "Champion of Champions", or "The Iranian Hercules". Okay, let’s move on to the next topic - Popular music in Iran.
Mohammad: Iranian music-lovers are divided into three groups. The biggest group belongs to western music and world pop. Most new Iranian bands make music that’s similar to western pop. Older Persian singers outside Iran are also good examples of the Foreign-Persian mixed styles.
Becky: I bet the second group of fans are those who love traditional music and the instruments of Iran!
Mohammad: Yes, you're right! And the third group is those who like more specific genres of music, like classical, world music, rock, metal, spiritual, and so on.
Becky: And.. the next topic must be your favorite one!
Mohammad: You mean "Sports"? That’s right, soccer is probably the most popular sport in Iran. There are two main teams that are considered "The Reds" and "The Blues", and these teams divide the country's football fans in two colours! The first question two fans ask each other is - "Blue or Red?!"
Becky: Hmmm I see, so tell me Mohammad, are you a Blue or a Red?!
Mohammad: Ehem, let's not make it personal!
Becky: [laughs] Ok. I’ve heard that Iran has its own ancient wrestling style that has been, and still is, a popular traditional and national sport for many years now. What’s it called in Persian?
Mohammad: It’s called Koshti, and is very popular. Skiing and Mountain climbing are other sports that are very popular, especially during holidays.
Becky: All right. And now we’ve reached the last topic of this lesson – international pop culture.
Mohammad: One thing that is widely appreciated, especially among young people, is Japanese anime and manga.
Becky: Really? How did it spread to Iran?
Mohammad: People usually access it on the internet. Fans even have their own anime and manga forums, and also artist groups who attempt to translate, or create similar art themselves.
Becky: That's really interesting. Where else in Iranian society can you find the influence of international pop culture?
Mohammad: In clothing and fashion, for example, which next to being native and Islamic, are also highly influenced by world trends in their colors and designs.
Becky: I see. Well listeners, those were our Top 5 pop culture topics.
Mohammad: Yeah, and we hope you had fun learning about Persian culture!


Becky: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone.
Mohammad: Bye.