Cafe Denj

A drama series about a group of friends running a Cafe, offering a look into Persian culture as it is in Iran today.

The show was specifically produced for language learners, and produced by the Department for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Austin Texas. The complete show is available on YouTube; for, we have added interactive subtitles and a translation.

The Show
Episode 1
8m 31s
133 wpm

Experience Persian habits, culture and customs as this cafe opens up and the customers arrive.

Episode 2
7m 21s
144 wpm

In this episode, learn more about Tehran, Iran's capital, and the students from all around the country who attend university there. You will hear the regulars at the cafe talk about housing, finding roommates and their activities and lifestyle.

Episode 3
7m 15s
127 wpm

Watch as we learn about the different lifestyle and cultures of families and parents in Iran. Students and others talk about how their friendships and relationships are formed and developed.

Episode 4
9m 57s
143 wpm

You will be introduced to the typical attitudes and behaviors of Iranian people. You will also hear about how the regulars at Café Denj navigate their day to day lives, working online and their trips and activities.

Episode 5
8m 26s
139 wpm

Experience Yalda Night, the celebration of the longest night of the year for Iranians. Learn about the traditions of this celebration and how the friends at the cafe prepare for it. The group have a visitor from America.

Episode 6
8m 43s
122 wpm

Romances are slowly blooming and the regulars at the cafe discuss music in Iran and immigration. Amir misses Rana.

Episode 7
131 wpm

The topic of immigrating continues, with Amir missing Rana more and more. Shirin struggles with her personal relationships. Learn about how young Iranians navigate romantic relationships due to Islamic restrictions. Erfan might be in trouble.

Episode 8
9m 35s
139 wpm

A lot has changed for our regulars. Rana has been hospitalized and Amir has left. Erfan and Shirin discuss theatre. Nima and Eadeh face the fact that Nima has to go back to America.

Episode 9
9m 14s
141 wpm

Tensions rise as the regulars, like most Iranians, face the challenges of leaving Iran for a better education, but wanting to stay. Eadeh thinks about what it would mean to leave Iran. Learn more about Iranian's culture of "tarof" and listen as the regulars discuss an Iranian gathering.

Episode 10
10m 55s
116 wpm

Experience a Persian gathering; listen to their jokes and sense of humor, watch their relationships develop and enjoy Persian music played at parties. Eadeh has huge news about Amir. Shirin begins to realize she might not know Erfan at all.

Episode 11
5m 44s
131 wpm

Amir is back and faces his new reality. Erfan and Shirin aren't speaking and Amir and Eadeh try to mend things.

Episode 12
6m 23s
114 wpm

It's finally time for Erfan to explain himself. Amir thinks about what it would mean to leave Iran. Learn more about traditional Persian families and their cultures, parenting techniques and the consequences of young Iranians who are born into those families.

Episode 13
5m 52s
107 wpm

There's an art showcase at Café Denj. The regulars discuss Persian calligraphy and art. Amir searches for an apartment, waiting for Rana to come to Tehran.

Episode 14
6m 56s
109 wpm

Some time has passed. Shirin and Eadeh catch up. Erfan and Shirin see each other again. Eadeh shares big news.