It goes without saying that Iranians invented pretty much everything, ever! So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the two-handed finger-snap is better known as the Iranian finger-snap. This method of finger-clicking is not only different, in that it requires two hands, but it’s different in that it’s loud! In fact, if you listen carefully, you’ll currently hear several Iranian grandmothers, sat around a room, finger-snapping to Persian pop music, while their grandchildren do the shoulder shimmy. To help you learn more about the Iranian two-handed finger-snap, or the ‘beshkan’, as it’s known in Persian, we devoted an entire episode to it. Listen to us, and friends of the show, give their examples of ‘beshkans’ and listen to learn how you, too, can ‘beshkan’. So, do Iranians do it louder? Listen to find out.

Questions we also get answers to in this episode

  • Do Iranians snap louder than the Arabs, Turks and everyone?
  • How do I do the Iranian two-handed finger-snap?
  • Is the African snap—immortalised by Ali G—louder than the Iranian snap?
  • What does a group beshkan sound like?
  • Is there a place in Tehran that is named after the Nazis?

How do I do the Iranian finger-snap (beshkan)?

Learning to “beshkan” ain’t easy, and takes practice. We give you an audio lesson on how to finger-snap like the Iranians, on the episode, but to help you learn with visuals, see the video below.

Thanks to our friends that ‘besh…’-can!

To all those that provided excellent examples of their beshkans, thanks! There were a few friends that responded by telling us that they ‘besh’-couldn’t. Nevertheless, we’d like to thank them for responding to us. So, thanks to Ali, Patrick, Katya and Karim for sending your feedback. Thanks to all of those that ‘besh’-could: Talieh, Shanay, Chris, Max, Nahid, Jamie of Reds Rambling podcast, Somayeh, Assal, Gaz, Darya, Yeganeh, Sepehr, Mehdi, Ayda, Pouya, Ehsan and Pouya.

Translations of Persian (Farsi) words used during this episode

PersianEnglish translation
Beshkan:“Break” – also used to refer to a finger click, or snap
Kaj:“Tilted”
Ghahr:“Ignore”
Aabaad:“Town”
Aroos“Bride”
“a” appearing alone, is pronounced as a short-a — double ‘aa’s are long, as used in the word “water”