Each new destination is a window to a new world of habits and traditions! Iran as a vast country with an old civilization, culture, and history has a lot to make you be excited and surprised. Those who travel to Iran may tell you memories about cultural differences.
Here you can find some of these differences that you can enjoy more about your trip when you know about them. There are some stereotypes, beliefs, and misunderstandings, and etiquettes that you better know before traveling to Iran. Iran is a land of different dialects, cultures, and customs. Knowing about these things helps you to have better communication with people.
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Manners in Persian style
In each society, some behaviors and manners are considered good while they may not be acceptable in another one. Iran is not an exception. Here we introduce you to some of Iran culture and Iranian manners you better know and observe when you are in Iran:
One of the most popular Iranian etiquettes is ta’arof. In Persian culture, it is a kind of respect toward others. However, it also confuses the strangers. One of the most common situations ta’arof happens is when two people want to enter from the door. They ask each other to pass it first. In this way, they want to respect each other.
It is a part of Iran’s culture. When you ask the price of something in the market or anywhere else, the saler may say to you ‘ghabel nadareh’, which means that you are worthy and it is not valuable. You should ask it again to find out about the figure.
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Some myths about Iran culture
Due to some propaganda about Iran, some travelers have some wrong image about Iran culture and Iranians.
They do not have a real picture of Iran. Here you can find some of these myths:
Iranians are Arab
Due to Iran’s neighborhood with Iraq and its location in the Middle East, many people around the world think that Iran is an Arab country. Iran is a Muslim country housing different ethnicities. Iranians are Persians and their language is Persian. Iran has its own culture and you can meet different tribes of Kurds, Lurs, Baluchi, Arab, Azeri, and Turkmen in different parts of the country.
Iranians have problem with U.S. citizens
Despite political clashes between the governments of two countries, Iranians do not hate Americans. Actually, Iranians are one of the most hospitable people in the world that surprise you with their welcoming and kindness. Political issues do not affect their kindness toward people of different countries.
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Iran is a male-dominated society
It is not true about Iran’s culture. Some have a picture of Iran that women are under veils and do not appear in public. Traveling Iran, you see a lot of Iranian women working in different companies and organizations. Many women are socializing in coffee shops and restaurants. May educated people of Iran from renowned universities are women who have a great role in the progress of today’s Iran. Besides, women in Iran do almost all the jobs, which are done by men. Most of the time, they have equal chances in their careers.
There are no modern facilities in Iran
You can find different cars, luxury hotels and accommodation, and different brands in Iran. Despite sanctions, Iran has good progress in technology. Life in the big cities of Iran is completely cosmopolitan. So do not worry about modern facilities in Iran, they are all on hand for you! There is high-speed internet coverage in most parts of Iran and all big cities. You can enjoy up to date life in Iran just like in other parts of the world.
Consider some behaviors while in Iran
There are some red lines in Iran’s culture that you should not pass as a traveler to Iran.
Knowing these issues, you can socialize more with locals since you behave in a way that you do not offend anyone. Here are some of the most important issues you should care about:
Be careful about political debate
It is better not to talk about politics in Iran. It is one of the red lines of the Iranian government. Do not criticize Iranian political issues or figures. In the case that some political debates happen, just listen and enjoy hearing different points of view. It is wise not to comment as a foreigner.
Iranians are very sensitive about the Persian Gulf as a full term so do not shorten it! Otherwise, they might not have a good feeling about it.
Care about your affections
When there is an affection for the opposite sex, be careful it is not common to express it in the public. Hugging, and kissing of the opposite sex is not common in Iran’s culture. Besides, it is common for the same sex to kiss and hug each other. No offense!
Ask permission to take photos of people
It is better to ask permission before you take a photo with a person in Iran’s culture.
With social media, maybe they do not want you to make their photos viral.
If you want to take a photo with a stranger of the opposite sex, do not put your arm around him or her.
Take your shoes off
Before entering a house in Iran, most of the time you should take your shoes off. You can walk barefoot, with socks or home slippers at home. in some religious places like the mosque, you should also take your shoes off. In Iran, it is not common to walk on the carpet with shoes.
Don’t throw you toilet paper in the toilet
The toilet papers in Iran are thick and clogged in the pipe. There are wastebaskets in the toilet that you can throw your toilet paper there.
Don’t shake hand with the opposite sex in public
As a Muslim country, it is not very common to shake hands with the opposite sex. Maybe some welcome you with a warm handshake but others prohibited especially when it is in the public. Try to use other kinds of greetings and keep your arms alongside yours so you can be sure that nobody is offended.
Last but not least
Iranians are welcoming people and one of the friendliest people that you have ever met! So do not worry about knowing exactly about myths and manners. They help you to enjoy your stay in this beautiful country and have a great time. However, knowing about these traditions and habits make you have a better feeling during your sojourn in Iran.