“How can one be Persian?” asks Montesquieu. “How can one learn Persian?” they ask me sometimes.
The French of the East. For a thousand years, the language of culture from Istanbul through the Caucasus to India, and in many places still it is; without it you cannot penetrate beyond a certain point into this world. The language of the purest poetry: the Persian poems are structured so much by the musicality of the language that they are untranslatable, any attempt is just a prosaic extract of their content. The language of music: the two and a half thousand year old Persian music is just as sophisticated, powerful and engaging as the European classical music. The language of a unique visual culture, to which, apart from the miniatures, the Iranian films and photos also bear witness. Of a multinational, multicultural, beautiful and isolated country of the size of a quarter of Europe, where only this language opens up doors and people, but this really does.
Kayhan Kalhor (kamanche) and Erdal Erzincan (saz): Gulnîshan (7:01)
Iranian Kurdish folk song performed by the classical Persian kamanche-player Kalhor and his frequent companion, the Turkish Erzincan, to illustrate Iran’s many cultures. From the concert held in Tehran’s Vahdat Hall.