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Persian Woman Called Out For Trying To Celebrate Persian Holiday With American Girlfriend’s Family

Young women participating in Yalda
Jasmin Merdan/Getty Images

Anyone who has moved a significant distance from their original home, whether it be a different state or country, can understand the importance of keeping their family traditions and practices alive in their new home.

But the new people they are surrounded with may not accept that, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

The Redditor, who has since deleted her account, was struggling during her latest celebration of Yalda, as her American girlfriend’s family accused her of involving them in “ridiculous” and “pointless” traditions.

But when the rest of the girlfriend’s family got involved, the Original Poster (OP) felt overwhelmed by the negative attention.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for celebrating Persian holidays?”

The OP was happy in sharing her Persian traditions with her American girlfriend.

“My girlfriend’s family is giving us a really hard time about this, so I wanted to ask Reddit.”

“I (28 Female) live in the US, but I’m Persian. I was born and raised in Iran until I was 18. So I feel very strongly about the traditions and holidays that I used to celebrate there.”

“I have been dating my girlfriend (27 Female) for the past two years. She is an American and she has come to terms with the idea that I celebrate Persian holidays like Norooz, Yalda, etc.”

“It was a little bit surprising at first, but once I explained everything, it was not a problem for her. She even likes them and sometimes celebrates with me.”

The OP’s parents were not able to join her during the latest Yalda.

“So yesterday, was the longest night of the year, which is simply called Yalda. It is a night we celebrate with friends and family. We just gather in a relative’s house, eat pomegranates and watermelons, read Hafez, and celebrate being together. There’s nothing crazy involved.”

“I had prepared a small table for the evening, kind of sad that I couldn’t be with my family this year (my parents are back home for a visit). But I set up a table anyways.”

“When I came home at night, I saw that my girlfriend’s family had shown up (her parents and siblings), and I learned that she had invited them so I would have people to celebrate Yalda with, given that my parents were away this year.”

“I was, of course, pleasantly surprised.”

But an issue came up during their celebration.

“During dinner, my girlfriend’s brother said that it was ridiculous that I was sticking to an ‘insignificant tradition’ that didn’t even make any sense.”

“He asked how eating a specific kind of food could make a tradition and told my girlfriend that she could have said she was just inviting them over for dinner and save him all the bulls**t.”

“Her parents also said that they didn’t really care that this night was special in some parts of the world.”

“Later that night, they saw my Hafez book and asked me about it. I explained it is used to do a Hafez reading since it’s part of the tradition (you just randomly open a page of his book and read the poem that comes up. It’s nothing specific; it’s meant to give inspiration and hope and a reason to read poems overnight).”

“Again, they thought was absolutely ridiculous.”

“I offered to explain the reason for the celebration, but they said it just wasn’t necessary.”

The situation then worsened online.

“All day today, they have been posting about yesterday on their social media.”

“I have gotten texts from extended family (aunts, uncles, etc.) of my girlfriend’s saying that what I do is an AH move and that since I live in America with my girlfriend, I should stop involving her extended family in my bulls**t.”

“AITA for celebrating Persian holidays?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some were supportive of the OP keeping her traditions alive in her new home.

“NTA, and what a bunch of hateful bigoted people. Here in America, we celebrate stupid holidays all the time with certain types of food. Valentine’s Day and chocolate? I can list more if necessary, but I don’t think it is.”

“They’re being racist, and they don’t sound like that great of a family. I certainly wouldn’t want to be involved with them.”

“I think it’s amazing that you are sharing your heritage and inviting people to be part of something that is so important to you.”

“Literally, the First Amendment to our constitution is freedom of religion, and yet, they are trying to tell you that you should just let yours go because you’re not in your country. That’s not how this country is supposed to work.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that they did that to you. It sounds like your girlfriend is open to what you believe in and celebrate, but is she standing up for you? Did she tell them that what they’re saying and doing is rude and inappropriate?”

“You’re not the a**hole. My family celebrates Christmas, but to be honest, winter solstice, or as you celebrate it, Yalda, means far more to me. It’s the breaking of the back of winter, it’s when we enter into a new cycle of life, and I think your tradition is beautiful. Don’t let anybody shut you down.” – big_mama_f

“Thanksgiving and turkey (and stuffing and gravy). Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving and cranberry sauce. Halloween and candy. Easter and ham, or lamb. July 4th and cookouts (hot dogs, burgers, etc.).”

“Every holiday has traditions associated with it, and some of those traditions are edible ones.”

“The girlfriend’s family is made up of just godawful people. People like that make all Americans look bad – and those of us who aren’t AHs are mortified to be associated with people like them.”

“OP, the traditions you described sound lovely, beautiful and meaningful and more than worthy of being maintained and shared.”

“I’m so very sorry that the people with whom you tried to share them were so completely unworthy. If you were one of my friends, I would have been fascinated to learn about something completely new to me.”

“I hope that you won’t be dissuaded from trying to share your traditions with other people in the future and that those future efforts are spent on better people.” – GothicGingerbread

“What has happened to common courtesy? If someone invites you into their home, they should be treated with gratitude and politeness. What kind of ignorant a**holes are we raising in this country?!” – Deep-Internal-2209

“The holiday sounds beautiful. I’m not into rushing and crowding. I like being with people who matter to me so if OP and her girlfriend invited me, I would have been thrilled. I feel so bad that she was treated this way.”

“NTA, OP. Celebrate and keep your traditions (that literally hurt no one) alive.” – mapp093


“Listen. If my significant other was gracious enough to have my family over for an important event in her life. I would make sure they were on their best behavior, and kick them out of they weren’t.”

“You prepared a place at your table for them. How dare they come over and just turn up their nose at it? If they didn’t care about Yalda, they could have stayed home.”

“Hope you have a better Yalda next year!” – the-benn-experience

Others agreed and lashed out against the girlfriend’s family.

“Oh for f**k’s sake. Your girlfriend was legit wonderful for trying, but her family is a bunch of a**holes all the way around.”

“Your celebrations and traditions matter. They are not pointless or ridiculous or bulls**t or stupid, and frankly, her family is a bunch of bigots.”

“I’m so very sorry they are treating you so horribly. Shabe Yalda Mobarak (had to google that and I hope it is correct)! NTA NTA NTA NTA.” – corgihuntress

“Sorry, an American, like a USA citizen American, asked how eating a specific food constitutes a tradition? We call Thanksgiving ‘turkey day,’ for f**k’s sake.”

“These people are so committed to their out-loud bigotry that they’re pretending to be even more ignorant than they actually are because they have run out of believably stupid things to say.”

“I hope the girlfriend was appropriately horrified by their behavior and didn’t make any excuses.” – Timely_Excuse2194

“NTA. Their attitude reeks of ignorance and bigotry and this attitude does nothing but confirm the rest of the world’s opinion about ‘Americans’ being insular and uncouth.”

“I would have offered them the choice very early on to either shut the f**k up or go home.”

“What was your girlfriend’s take on all this?”

“These people are such an embarrassment to intelligent people. Nothing wrong at all about learning a bit about other cultures and traditions, especially when they are important to their daughter’s partner.” – Blinky_Kitty_61

“NTA. Your girlfriend’s family sounds extremely xenophobic. Please take some time to think about what level of contact you want with them.”

“As someone who is also an immigrant, I would’ve blocked them all on social media for this or gone low contact with them.”

“Please stand up for yourself and your traditions, you deserve the respect. Especially now when Iranian people are going through so much.”

“Your girlfriend needs to stand up for you, as well. This is her family, and she is the point person between you and them. They have lost direct contact privileges.”

“Wishing you peace and love in this upcoming new year, OP. You’ve got this.” – questionTower

“Your girlfriend was wonderful for trying, but I hope that she understands that her family is full of bigots and expresses her disgust and appropriately distances her from them. Them not respecting your culture is not respecting you as a person.”

“If she doesn’t stand up for you against her family, reconsider this person, wonderful though she may be separate from her family.” – asecretnarwhal

The subReddit was infuriated on the OP’s behalf that her culture and traditions were insulted by people who should have been friends, since they were her girlfriend’s family members, and in her own home, no less.

No matter what happens next with the OP’s relationship, the subReddit urged her to keep her traditions alive and well in her new home.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.