the former US embassy in Tehran 🇮🇷🇱🇷
i will let my dear @mypersiancorner explain the meaning of this graffiti and this whole “death to america” thing… 🕊
„Ask any Iranian, and they will tell you how ugly this phrase is and that they wish it would just go away. But it’s how we express ourselves linguistically. And when we do use this phrase, it strictly refers to governments, not people. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of misunderstanding happens. I have to say that Iranians are much better than Americans when it comes to differentiating between people and their governments. The way I see it, Iranians don’t view governments as representative of the people, so it’s very clear to us that when we say “death to America” or “down with America” (or any place else), we are solely talking about the government. I think Americans, on the other hand, tend to view governments as representative of the people and therefore equate the two (maybe less so these days). So when they hear this, they think it’s about them. Oh, the ego! Trust me, it’s not about you. Oddly enough, Americans are the one nationality Iranians love more than any other. How many Americans would say the same about Iranians?
But back to more important language matters. Saying “death to” anything sounds strange and flat out awful in English. Instead, English tends to damn people or send them to hell. Iranians, on the other hand, go straight for death, and these expressions just fit with Persian. You’d think that being the poetic creatures that we are, we’d find a more lyrical way of expressing ourselves, but I guess death is, after all, the ultimate sacrifice. One minute we’re willing to die for you with ghorbunet beram and fadât besham (let me sacrifice myself for you), mimiram barât (“I love you”; literally “I’ll die for you”), or elâhi bemiram barât! (“I feel so bad for you”; literally “Oh God, may I die for you”). But if you get on our bad side, we will just as soon wish for your death. (And let’s just say, the US government has crossed the line with us.)“