Due to its richest history and traditions, Iran is one of the most interesting countries to explore. Most traditions and folk customs have existed since prehistoric times. For the guests of the country, those folk customs may seem quite unusual, that’s why today we’d like to help you get some idea about top 10 the most interesting cultural traditions of Iran:
Cultural traditions in Iran: burning the seeds of harmala
Iranians are extremely superstitious people, especially when it comes to the evil eye. To protect themselves from the evil eye, the Iranians burn the harmala seeds on coal. The plant is found in the Middle East, in India and Pakistan. When heated harmala seeds start bursting like popcorn and smoke. The Iranians believe that the fumigation ritual with harmala is the best protection against the evil eye. In Turkey, there is also a tradition harmala. Locals use dried seeds from the evil eye.
Cultural traditions in Iran: finger snapping
One of the common habits of Iranians is a kind of finger snapping. Iranians call it beshkan and it can be seen at parties and weddings. For a loud sound, you need to fold your palms and click your middle fingers. There are used different combinations of fingers, and the sound of clicks also turns out to be different. From an early age, Iranians learn beshkan so that they can show off with all the talent at the right moment.
Cultural traditions in Iran: nooch – no
Iranians never say “no”. Instead, to express a negative answer, they just raise their eyebrows in the form of amazement, or lift their chins and click the tongue. Sometimes they may do both gestures at the same time and all these are done instead of saying “no”.
Cultural traditions in Iran: cucumber in a fruit basket
Fruit is an important part of the traditional table. Iranians are used to eat fruits as a snack between main meals. Guests are also taken to treat fruit. The most unusual “fruit” in the basket seems to you a cucumber. The Iranians have a special relationship to cucumber.
Cultural traditions in Iran: sur – treat
Treats in Iran are quite ordinary things. Sur or treat does not require a special occasion. Iranians just love to treat sweets and organize tea parties for no reason. The purpose could be good news, an important event, a big purchase, or just a long-awaited meeting. Iranians love to share the joy.
Cultural traditions in Iran: parents and children
In Iran, you can get totally confused when you hear how a father calls his child “Maman Jan” or “Baba Jan”. This is a kind of expression of affection, and you will not see such attitude anywhere else.
Cultural traditions in Iran: questions about income
On the one hand, Iranians consider it rude to talk about the price of the service and to claim the money, on the other hand, they like to chat about incomes and ask about your salary. The usual topic of conversation may be the cost of a particular purchase, the money you spent on a trip and etc.
It is quite normal to pay for services. In Iran, be prepared for a different attitude to money. Iranians traditionally refuse to get paid for this or that service. For example, a taxi driver can refuse to take money. They will just say “Ghabel nadare” that is translated as “nothing is needed.” The fact is that the Iranians consider it rude to immediately call the price and ask for payment. After this ceremony, you may pay. Sometimes it is misleading to guests who are unfamiliar with the tradition, that is why a foreigner can often leave without paying.
Cultural traditions in Iran: celebrating holidays on the eve
Another unusual tradition of Iranians is to celebrate holidays the night before. This tradition is most enjoyed by children who are waiting for the party with the greatest impatience. If the birthday coincides with the day off, the holiday may be celebrated a few days earlier.
Cultural traditions in Iran: sitting backward
The Iranians consider it extremely disrespectful to sit with their backs to the neighbor and they try to avoid it by all means. However, if it still happened, they will apologize in advance for their attitude. For example, the driver will immediately apologize to the passenger for sitting with his back to them. Whoever has been asked for permission must answer that the flower has no front side.
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