This means that if you click on a banner or link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Going to the bathroom? Persian is the predominant and official language of Iran and throughout Iran's history, it has been the nation's most influential literary language. I also used to do it in college before I took a major exam. Women account for 60% of all students in the natural sciences, including one in five PhD students.[65]. [45][46], Iranian architectural style is the combination of intensity and simplicity to form immediacy, while ornament and, often, subtle proportions reward sustained observation. Thus, Christians that live in Iran are primarily descendants of indigenous Christians that were converted during the 19th and 20th centuries. [49] The traditional style of Iranian gardens are to represent an earthly paradise or a heaven on Earth. Going outside? [50], Zoroastrianism was the national faith of Iran for more than a millennium before the Arab conquest. These are little kiosks that give out water and tea for free. In addition, although there have been isolated incidences of prejudice against Zoroastrians, most followers of this faith have not been persecuted for being followers of this faith. [44][46] There are currently 14 Iranian gardens that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with 5 of them being located outside of Iran. Now, this comes with a caveat. These herbs and spices play specific roles ranging from breaking spells and witchcraft, to blinding the evil eye, to burning evil spirits. [29], Iran has a rich and ancient dance culture which extends to the sixth millennium BC. With 300 international awards in the past 10 years, Iranian films continue to be celebrated worldwide. "The effect of Persia's culture and civilization on the world" (Tasr-i farhang va tamaddun-i rn dar jahn). I really loved this post! Tehran. And this was his foolproof trick: as soon as we broke the wishbone, hed give me his piece, and Id take it without saying ydeh (because come on! I entered a relatives apartment building once and saw a box of zulbi-bmieh in the lobby. (What should we bet on?) In addition to Christianity and Judaism, Zoroastrianism is another officially recognized religion in Iran, although followers of this faith do not hold a large population in Iran.

We cant find a country that matches your search. In addition to these dairy products, Iranian cuisine involves a lot of dishes cooked from rice. I'm Pontia, author and founder of My Persian Corner, a hub for all Iranophiles! An eclectic cultural elasticity has been said to be one of the key defining characteristics of the Iranian identity and a clue to its historical longevity. My initial thought was, Did someone drop this on the way to score the perfect picnic spot? (And if so, how come it didnt bust?) In Iranian cuisine, there are many dishes that are made from dairy products. [29] It has mainly influenced and built up much of the musical terminology of the neighboring Turkic and Arabic cultures, and reached India through the 16th-century Persianate Mughal Empire, whose court promoted new musical forms by bringing Iranian musicians.

Because espand is said to have purification properties, Iranians burn it from time to time in their homes or any time they move into a new house. Suppose you baked a cake earlier that day. Like the Persian carpet that exhibits numerous colors and forms in a dazzling display of warmth and creativity, Persian culture is the glue that bonds the peoples of western and central Asia. [30][31][32] He has been credited to have organized a musical system consisting of seven "royal modes" (xosrovni), 30 derived modes (nav), and 360 melodies (dstn). p. 363: "Nizami Ganja'i, whose personal name was Ilyas, is the most celebrated native poet of the Persians after Firdausi. Maybe its less direct than giving an outright no or perhaps its just a convenient way to answer while youre munching on sunflower seeds and someone asks you a question. In the Balochi language, the term "gowati" refers to psychologically ill patients who have recovered through music and dance. And not just for travel. Although the average age of women being married has increased by about five years in the past couple decades, young girls being married is still common feature of marriage in Iraneven though there is an article in the Iranian Civil Code that forbid the marriage of women younger than 15 years of age and males younger than 18 years of age.[55]. The only way that Iranians could protect these books was to bury them but many of the texts were forgotten over time. The predominant language and national language of Iran is Persian, which is spoken fluently across the country. An illustration of Iran's deep artistic heritage. Currently, there are 19 UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites that were designed and constructed by Iranians, with 11 of them being located outside of Iran. Ebadi, Shirin, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope by Shirin Ebadi with Azadeh Moaveni, Random House, 2006 (p.210). The pre-Islamic styles draw on 3000 to 4000 years of architectural development from the various civilizations of the Iranian plateau. Regardless of them being women, my relatives warned me I should be careful (which was a given). Iranians need slippers.) Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (20 July 2005). In Schiffman, Harold (ed.). [38] The Cult of Mithra were active from the 1st Century CE to the 4th Century CE and worshiped a mystery religion inspired by the Iranian worship of Mithra. This is another one that I learned after a great deal of confusion. [56] Produce is a staple of the Iranian diet, as evidenced by their seasonal street food. Martin, Luther H.; Beck, Roger (30 December 2004). Nazri / is the food (such as sh, sholeh zard [saffron rice pudding], gheymeh stew, etc.) Some popular rice dishes include boiled rice with a variety of ingredients such as meats, vegetables, and seasonings ("plov") including dishes like chelo-horesh, shish kebab with rice, chelo-kebab, rice with lamb, meatballs with rice, and kofte (plain boiled rice). With my question finally answered, we set out to take pictures and explore the area while the watermelons reached a crisp, cool temperature. Today of the 98% of Muslims living in Iran, around 89% are Shi'a and only around 9% are Sunni. As in any other country, Iran is ripe with quirks and eccentricities. As long as were talking about celebrations, its important to know that Iranians celebrate birthdays on the eve. If you take one, you say a prayer for the person. I thanked her and kept walking. And the answer was always something simple like ice cream or gum. And if you divulge this new life event, Iranians wont let you off the hook until they get your soor. But its not because your friends still dont know your birthday after all this time. If you take some, in exchange, you send a salavt / (consider this something like the Islamic version of a hail Mary. Its a beautiful park with streams flowing through it set to the backdrop of a rocky mountain. And this, of course, only increased my determination to beat him, so I always chose him as my wishbone opponent. Iran is filled with tombs of poets and musicians, such as this one belonging to Rahi Mo'ayeri. Im going to adopt that practice for sure Oh, and cooling watermelons in fountainsbest idea ever! She was born and raised in the US and has lived in Tehran for four years, the combination of which gives her an unbiased perspective on Iran and a unique ability to explain cultural nuances to foreigners. Everyones happier when there are treats around . And while its true that Iranians dont need a reason to enjoy some shirini with tea in the company of friends, its more likely that someone is giving soor, an offering of pastries (or a party), because they bought a house or a car or maybe they got engaged. Many people truly believe that eating nazri, even just a bite, will bless them. A few times my American side has just handed them the glass, and immediately, I feel as though Ive committed a massive faux pas. One of the most famous of which includes "baklava" with almonds, cardamom, and egg yolks. [11] Although the Azerbaijanis speak a Turkic language, due to their culture, history and genetics, they are often associated with the Iranian peoples. I especially enjoyed the details about the Quran being suspended over ER doors to offer protection to the patients, and the idea of always returning a dish with a gift inside it. In addition to these herbs/spices, a special baked and decorated flatbread, a basket of decorated eggs, decorated almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts (in their shell to represent fertility), a basket of pomegranates/apples (for a joyous future as these fruits are considered divine), a cup of rose water (from special Persian roses)which helps perfume the air, a bowl made out of sugar (apparently to sweeten life for the newlywed couple), and a brazier holding burning coals and sprinkled with wild rue (as a way to keep the evil eye away and to purify the wedding ritual) are placed on the spread as well. A similar situation happened two more times, and each time, the American in me couldnt help but feel slightly sketched out. A mother calls her child maman jn while a father says baba jn. There are various types of these spiritual dances which are used for spiritual purposes such as ridding the body of ill omens and evil spirits. Your surprise birthday party may actually be a surprise as it may not even be on your birthday! If youve ever been to a Persian wedding or party, youve witnessed the peculiar way Iranians snap. Time. I fell for it Every. (Incidentally, this is why theres always a pair of plastic slippers in hotel bathrooms in Iran.

It was a rival of Christianity in the Roman Empire and was eventually suppressed in the 4th Century CE by Roman authorities in favor of Christianity. There is a resurgence of interest in Iranian contemporary artists and in artists from the larger Iranian diaspora. And what you place inside simply depends on what you have in your kitchen. The literature of Iran is one of the world's oldest and most celebrated literatures, spanning over 2500 years from the many Achaemenid inscriptions, such as the Behistun inscription, to the celebrated Iranian poets of the Islamic Golden Age and Modern Iran. And its never happened again since. [61] By 1999, Iran had 140 female publishers, enough to hold an exhibition of books and magazines published by women. It would be rude to return an empty dish, so what Iranians do is place a small gift inside as a thank you. This was a new one for me. "Dari, Farsi, and Tojiki". Judaism is an officially recognized faith in Iran, and in spite of the hostilities between Iran and Israel over the Palestinian issue, the millennia-old Jewish community in Iran enjoys the right to practice their religion freely as well as a dedicated seat in parliament to a representative member of their faith. Never, under any circumstances, sit with your back to someone. Mainly because in my mind, theres this build-up, and the day before youre thinking, How exciting! Last. Thank you! [34], War or Combat dances, imitate combat or help to train the warrior. Maybe I should try a little more sur dadan with my co-workers. Since the 1979 Revolution, Iranian women have had more opportunities in some areas and more restrictions in others. [34], Solo dances are usually reconstructions of the historical and court dances of the various Iranian dynasties throughout history, with the most common types being that of the Safavid and Qajar dynasties due to them being relatively newer. The Iranian women who had gained confidence and higher education during the Pahlavi era participated in demonstrations against the Shah to topple the monarchy. [64] This has led to many female school and university graduates being under-utilized. Craftsmanship in Iranian Architecture. During recent decades, Iranian women have had significant presence in Iran's scientific movement, art movement, literary new wave and contemporary Iranian cinema. Traditional cultural inheritors of the old Persia, Contributions to humanity in ancient history. [52], The Persian year begins in the vernal equinox: if the astronomical vernal equinox comes before noon, then the present day is the first day of the Persian year. Youll be walking down the street and notice a random open box of sweets/dates/chocolates in front of a store. Families are out picnicking (a beloved Iranian pastime), playing badminton, and chatting. So thats what it was! But this one was new and sort of fascinating for me. Every time I go to their houses, they offer me slippers, and I have to tell them [again] that I dont need any. Kind of piggy-backing on the idea of nazri above is kheyrt / (charitable deeds). But technically, cucumbers are a fruit, so maybe Iranians were right all along. Until the 16th century, Iran was majority Sunni ushering a golden age of the arts and sciences. Then as they leave, the remaining family members toss the water from the glass behind them, a gesture symbolic of ensuring their safe return. But first, you would decide, sar-e chi shart bebandim? [48], In addition to historic gates, palaces, bridges, buildings and religious sites which highlight the highly developed supremacy of the Iranian art of architecture, Iranian gardens are also an example of Iran's comic symbolism and unique style of combining intensity and simplicity for form immediacy. This one may not seem like a big deal, but its one that, for whatever reason, has always stood out to me.

Its awesome when youre a kid and want to be older, but as the years go by, turning a year older one day earlier is not nearly as thrilling. It could be argued that men from the Zurkhaneh ("House of Strength") and their ritualized, wrestling-training movements are known as a type of dance called "Raghs-e-Pa" with the dances and actions done in the Zurkhaneh also resembling that of a martial art. I should mention that all three people who offered me rides were women. "Dari, Farsi, and Tojiki". Whoever got the wishbone ( / jengh) would choose someone to break it with. Iranians may be reluctant to accept money, but they have no qualms about asking what your salary or monthly rent is or how much that stunning designer bag set you back. The ceremony takes place in a decorated room with flowers and a beautifully decorated spread on the floor. If you want to learn more about Iranian culture and the Persian language or are interested in the beautiful sites of Iran, then you've come to the right place! Finally, there are additional items that must be placed on the spread, including a bowl of gold coins (to represent wealth and prosperity), a scarf/shawl made of silk/fine fabric (to be held over the bride and groom's head at certain points in the ceremony), two sugar coneswhich are ground above the bride and groom's head, thus symbolizing sweetness/happiness, a cup of honey (to sweeten life), a needle and seven strands of colored thread (the shawl that is held above the bride and groom's head is sewn together with the string throughout the ceremony), and a copy of the couple's Holy Book (other religions require different texts); but all of these books symbolize God's blessing for the couple. Pontia writes and blogs about all things Iran: culture, language, and travel. [69][70] What follows is a list of just a few examples of the cultural contributions of Greater Iran. As I continue my walk, I see more watermelons. Wouldnt you rather have cold watermelon? they asked me. My Persian Corner contains advertising banners and some contextual affiliate links. Spooner, Brian (1994). When a friend or family member goes on a trip, Iranians prepare a tray that has a Quran and a glass of water (symbolizing pure flowing water). But first things first, my friends said as they took the watermelons we bought and threw them in the spring. Iranians cant be bothered to say no. Then throughout the day, any time that person handed you something, youd have to say ydeh (I remember). In addition, Iranian cuisine is famous for its sweets. [40] The cult was highly adhered and respected throughout the Roman Empire with it center in Rome, and was popular throughout the western half of the empire, as far south as Roman Africa and Numidia, as far north as Roman Britain, and to a lesser extent in Roman Syria in the east. [54] Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia [26][27] These poets have inspired the likes of Goethe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and many others. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. the Armenians). We just started! Read on to discover 10 cultural customs only Iranians will understand. Theyll simply raise their eyebrows as if uttering that one-syllable word is far too much effort. Because of the long history of fine silk and wool rug weaving in Iran, Persian rugs are world-renowned as some of the most beautiful, intricately designed rugs available. First deriving from the notion of basic need, the Persian rug started out as a simple/pure weave of fabric that helped nomadic people living in ancient Iran stay warm from the cold, damp ground. According to the Iran Labor Code, Friday is the weekly day of rest. Im so glad you liked it. Spooner, Brian (2012). While the people of Iran have been trying to legally change this practice by implementing a higher minimum in marriage, there have been countless blocks to such an attempt. His nisbah designates him as a native of Ganja (Elizavetpol, Kirovabad) in Azerbaijan, then still a country with an Iranian population, and he spent the whole of his life in Transcaucasia; the verse in some of his poetic works which makes him a native of the hinterland of Qom is a spurious interpolation. How is it that a Persian boy born almost eight hundred years ago in Khorasan, the northeastern province of greater Iran, in a region that we identify today as Central Asia, but was considered in those days as part of the Greater Persian cultural sphere, wound up in Central Anatolia on the receding edge of the Byzantine cultural sphere, in which is now Turkey, some 1500 miles to the west? Several languages are spoken throughout Iran. Theres no fixed rule. [21] As soon as circumstances permitted, the Iranians wrote books and assembled libraries. Although the date of certain holidays in Iran are not exact (due to the calendar system they use, most of these holidays are around the same time), some of the major public holidays in Iran include Oil Nationalization Day (20 March). But historically, the peoples of what are now Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,[67][68] Eastern Georgia, and Afghanistan are related to one another as part of the larger group of peoples of the Greater Iranian cultural and historical sphere. [66] In the words of Iranologist Richard Nelson Frye: The Culture of Persia has thus developed over several thousand years. Iran is a multi-ethnic nation. Among these attested names, Barbad is remembered in many documents and has been named as remarkably high skilled. [12][13][14] Dialects of Persian are sporadically spoken throughout the region from China to Syria to Russia, though mainly in the Iranian Plateau. As time progressed, this culture of dance began to develop and flourish.[33]. It doesnt necessarily have to be a party though. From the Elamite Chogha Zanbil to the Median and Achaemenid reliefs of Persepolis to the mosaics of Bishapur. Taken together, these customs paint a picture of a society with an underlying spirit of generosity, where people share in each others joys and sorrows (which is, I think, something we could learn a lot from in American culture). The South Caucasus and Central Asia "occupy an important place in the historical geography of Persian civilization." [24] Kurdish literature has also had a profound impact on the literature of Iran with it incorporating the various Kurdish dialects that are spoken throughout the Middle East. I kept wondering why friends and relatives came so close to getting my birthday right but in the end missed the mark. And while I appreciate any gesture acknowledging my birthday, I have to admit, theres something a little disappointing about it happening the day before. "Iranian languages". Smaller languages spread in other regions notably include Talysh, Georgian, Armenian, Assyrian, and Circassian, amongst others. Speaking of water, theres a common Persian saying, b-e natalabide mord ast, which literally translates as, water that you havent asked for grants your wish. I learned this from my students who would excuse themselves to get some water and return with a glass for me, too (even though I hadnt wanted any).

Modern Iranian literature includes Persian literature, Azerbaijani literature, Kurdish literature and the literature of the remaining minority languages. Another time, I was around Tajrish Bazaar on a Thursday night, and a man was handing out bags of salt to passersby as his form of kheyrt. Additional holidays include The Anniversary of the Uprising Against the Shah (30 January), Ashoura (11 February), Victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution (20 January), Sizdah-BedarPublic Outing Day to end Nowrooz (1 April), and Islamic Republic Day (2 April). Its like the Persian saying goes, t seh nashe, bzi nashe. [51] In 1501 the Safavid dynasty took control of Iran and made Shia Islam the state religion, with this being one of the most important events in Islamic history.[51]. This one confused me for the longest time. They say when someone brings you water that you didnt ask for, you should take it as fl-e nik / (a good omen). Iranians can be a bit superstitious, especially when it comes to being jinxed. Now obviously, 1) no one will know if you did or not and 2) you wont know exactly who youre praying for. [36][37], The earliest researched dances from Iran is a dance worshiping Mithra, the Zoroastrian angelic divinity of covenant, light, and oath, which was used commonly by the Roman Cult of Mithra. [34][35], Spiritual dances in Iran are known as "sama". Say someone gives you food in a dish that you have to return (Iranians would never dream of giving you anything disposable- gasp!- Well, not unless it was nazri). [18][19] Distinguished Professor L.P. Elwell-Sutton described the literature of the Persian language as "one of the richest poetic literatures of the world". Salaam azizn! The court of Khosrow II hosted a number of prominent musicians, including Azad, Bamshad, Barbad, Nagisa, Ramtin, and Sarkash. The two categories are Zoroastrian and Islamic, which references the eras of Pre-Islamic and Post-Islamic Iran, and the six styles, in order of their era, are: Parsian, Parthian Khorasani, Razi, Azari, Esfahani. As time progressed, the complexity and beauty of rugs increased to a point where rugs are now bought as decorative pieces. [34] These often are improvisational dances and utilize delicate, graceful movements of the hands and arms, such as wrist circles. Iranian chess (shatranj) set, glazed fritware, 12th century Nishapur.

[58], Cuisine in Iran is considered to be one of the most ancient forms of cuisine around the world. "The World Factbook Central Intelligence Agency". Iranian architecture ranges from simple structures to "some of the most majestic structures the world has ever seen". The knee-jerk response to the question how much is it? is ghbel nadre (its nothing/its not worthy of you). These are the things that only locals really get (at least for the time being). ), which is another way of saying sur dreh. The post-Islamic architecture of Iran in turn, draws ideas from its pre-Islamic predecessor, and has geometrical and repetitive forms, as well as surfaces that are richly decorated with glazed tiles, carved stucco, patterned brickwork, floral motifs, and calligraphy. Nevertheless, thats the idea behind it. First and foremost, slippers are called damp-yi () in Persian, which is literally at your feet. There are house slippers, bathroom slippers, and outside slippers, and they can each only be worn in their respective spaces. Fast forward 3 years to Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province. An example of such dance is that of the Balochi's called "le'b gowati", which is performed to rid a supposedly possessed person of the possessing spirit. To truly understand a countrys culture and people, its imperative to have a basic understanding of their customs. This concept of passing the Quran over your head is quite common. Tomorrows my birthday. And thats when the birthday wishes come flooding in. From the time of the Achaemenid Empire, the idea of an earthly paradise spread through Iranian literature to other cultures, with the word for paradise in the Iranian languages of Avestan, Old Persian and Median, spreading to languages across the world. Key notables include Shirin Aliabadi, Mohammed Ehsai, Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Golnaz Fathi, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Parastou Forouhar, Pouran Jinchi, Farhad Moshiri, Shirin Neshat, Parviz Tanavoli, Y. One of the striking features of the Revolution was the large scale participation of women from traditional backgrounds in demonstrations leading up to the overthrow of the monarchy.