Funny in Farsi Background

Funny in Farsi Background

Funny In Farsi is a humorous autobiography written by Firoozeh Dumas. It chronicles the experiences of Firoozeh and her family when they moved to Southern California form Iran in 1972, when Firoozeh was seven years old. When they arrived only Firoozeh's father spoke English and none had ever been to California, but they learned the ropes in their new country with the aid of television game shows, strip mall fast food restaurants and frequent trips to Disneyland and Las Vegas. Dumas' family are entertaining and quixotic and viewed with loving impatience through her eyes as both a child and an adult. As well as humorously detailing various experiences the book also deals with the difference in assimilation for Iranian ex-pays before and after the Iranian Revolution, and the palpable hatred of Iranians during the period of taking Americans hostage in Iran. Firoozeh herself, easily able to pass as a natural born American with her perfect un-accented English, also changed her name to Julie because it made her life easier during the post-revolution period.

The book is also an homage to family and its importance as the author tells anecdote after anecdote of her wildly patriotic father's efforts to be Americanized, from laughing at Bob Hope's jokes on television even though he didn't get them in either English or the Iranian language of Farsi, to becoming a contestant on the television show "Bowling For Dollars". Although supportive of Firoozeh writing this book her father asked that she only use their first names and keep their family a secret.

After meeting her future husband in college Firoozeh added a third nationality to her identity by marrying into a French family, blending Muslim and Catholic heritage and adding to the cultural melting pot. She and her husband still live in California, with their children, where she answered questions about her cultural experience via her website.

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