Who we hire?
We live in a massive country when it comes to geographic scale and that used to mean that there were certain geographic advantages and disadvantages. Hollywood’s history began because Rockefeller had patents on nickelodeons on the east coast, so Jewish businessmen in New York fled as far west as possible so that the lawyers could not reach them. These days, planes make sure that you are never more than a day from anywhere in the country and computers make the world even more convenient. Amazon Prime made two day shipping free and now we demand things faster and to more places. Imagine asking for one day shipping on a t-shirt from Florida sent to middle of nowhere Montana. That is possible now, but should it be? Do we demand too much? I promise I will get back to private Farsi tutoring, but come with me for a bit.
When you hire tutors, you just want to know that you are safe. You are investing in something that does not have concrete results necessarily, so you want to know that any improvement is from the tutor, not just the student working a little harder. In the case of Farsi tutoring near me, you want to get someone that you know can teach the language without any issues or mistakes. We have often found, especially for foreign languages in countries not dominated by white people, parents prefer that their tutor be non-white and of the country of origin. Think about it in the case of a sushi chef. There are many sushi restaurants that have the sushi chefs out in the dining area for some to watch, which is unlike most restaurants that hide the chefs in the kitchen. For a sushi restaurant, authenticity is part of the experience in only your mind, as you are not getting real sushi in America. Yet, many still trust their sushi chef more if they are Asian, not even distinguishing that they are Japanese, all because it seems more authentic. In the grand scheme of things, nothing is authentic about sushi in landlocked Arizona, but you still can get it there. But you would not buy sushi from a gas station or eat raw oysters in landlocked places because your mind tells you there is something not right. Your biases make it so that your comfort level is affected.
In the case of film again, Prince of Persia and the new live action Aladdin might show interesting examples of the conundrum that we face in tutoring. Prince of Persia is based on a highly popular video game, but not many people know it for its story. It is most popular for a time control mechanic in the game, which is what people are coming to see. The setting overall was just an interesting locale that the developers chose to make things seem more interesting, not some sort of set in stone truth. Knowing this, the filmmakers did not care about the race of the actors, instead looking for names to sell the movie. Jake Gyllenhaal, whose background is Swedish and Russian and Polish Jew, and Alfred Molina, who is Spanish and Italian, play Dastan and Sheik Amar, respectively. Ben Kingsley, who is, at best, Indian, plays Prince Nizam. Good actors, but they do not scream Persian, especially not the California-born Gyllenhaal. Yet, with a video game that did not have great marketing reach, these actors were a boost on what was still a poorly written film. For Aladdin, Disney had a different challenge. This time, the film is so iconic that you do not need big names except for the iconic role of Genie, which went to Will Smith. For Aladdin, Jafar, and the Sultan, they went with relatively obscure names, but the actors come from Egyptian, Iranian, and Tunisian descent. It is a long way from Prince of Persia and was highly successful, but it had the cartoon behind it.
All of this is to say that we need to think about what we are getting. With Prince of Persia, it was inauthentic casting with poor writing. The whole thing was doomed to fail. With Aladdin, the casting was on point, but it all plays into what you expect. For tutoring, open your mind to unexpected faces and you might find great lessons underneath.