Is it in our blood ?
In the last eighteen years, we have witnessed the exodus of our people from Iran to almost every corner of the world. Unofficial data has estimated the number of this group to be in excess of four millions. At the beginning, many were on the belief that one day they will return back to Iran. They left their households and belonging intact, so that on their return, they could go back to their old routines and continue life as usual. Time and space have altered many of such plans .....
For most of us this has been a long journey filled with much personal and financial hardship and sacrifices. Some never reached the final distention and had to rethink their original plans, and settled some where half way, in a county which was supposed to be only a pit stop. Some have become refugees and continue to seek for residency status in any country.
Today we see a new wave immigrating to Canada. I guess our people follow the path of the least resistance in the embassy row. As long as an embassy keeps its door open, there is an Iranian asking for a visa. Everything indicates that the exodus will continue for some time to come. Traveling on a one way ticket is the one factor that distinguishes this latest group from those of the past.
Now these days there is less talk about moving back to Iran and the majority are content by spending a month of vacation in Iran every few years. Many have sold all their properties in Iran and have managed to move all their assets to outside of Iran. At first many were thinking back about the families and friends that were left behind. Now, the majority are looking forward and planning for future in wherever we call home. As years go by, we seem to have less time to think about what we have left behind. Every so often, we get together and remember the good days and the vague memories of the past and how much we miss the homeland. But down inside most of us know, the closest we will ever come to moving back, is a few weeks of vacation or a rush trip to be in a burial ceremony of a loved one.
As years go by, the idea of living in Iran seems to become more out of reach for most of us. But through out all this turbulent time, one thing has consistently remained unchanged, as if it has been blended in our blood. That is the influence of a none-homogeneous set of conflicting values, habits and belief systems which we refer to as our culture.
Shahram Shirangee Dallas,
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