Iranian Festival in Seatle:
The beat goes on for drummer
ZEKROLLAH Aflatuni loves tofu, kung pao chicken, gulaorou (sweet and sour pork with fat) and red braised eggplant. He plays the Iranian drum but sings traditional Suzhou pingtan (story-telling accompanied by Suzhou music). He wears an Iranian vest but feels comfortable in local Suzhou silk. He speaks English and broken Suzhou dialect.
The 66-year-old Iranian-Finn has lived in Suzhou for about 13 years. He calls himself a Suzhou native. “I fell in love with China and the city,” he says with a big smile.
In 1998, the electronics engineer came to China from Finland due to work. But when he reached the retirement age in 2003, Aflatuni decided to stay. “I’ve found my niche here. It’s my home now,” he says:
For today’s installment, Northbrook resident Jalal Rais Dana introduces the Global Notes crew to a Persian instrument called the santur: