By Sofia Koutlaki

Provides an inside of examine the hidden principles that exist between Iranians, from well mannered habit and the underlying thought of face to gender roles to the picture that Iranians are looking to undertaking to the world.

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Extra info for Among the Iranians: A Guide to Iran's Culture and Customs

Example text

These specially marked airport taxis charge a standard fare agreed upon at the desk in advance. It is always helpful to have your destination written down in Persian, although the taxi desk staff should speak English, even if the driver may not (for more on fare transactions, see chapter 3). IDENTITY DOCUMENTS All Iranian nationals have an identity document (shenâss-nâmeh). This is a booklet with a red plastic cover carrying all personal information, including names of spouse and children. By looking at a person’s identity, one can find out whether a person is married, whether s/he has ever been divorced, and how many children s/he has.

1 In social situations, Iranians generally shun behaviors construed as impolite, such as raising one’s voice, arguing, swearing (very rare), or not acknowledging an acquaintance’s presence by exchanging warm greetings, as we saw in the drugstore situation in the previous chapter. All of these ingrained behaviors often affect Iranians’ interactions with foreigners. PERSIAN POLITENESS Persian politeness broadly follows three principles, the application of which gives rise to a wide variety of behaviors.

FOOTWEAR ETIQUETTE Always be prepared to remove shoes, if required. If you wear shoes without socks, it is a good idea to have a pair of socks with you, even thin deniers for women, so that you can wear them should you need to go indoors. Bare feet are an indication of intimacy and generally disapproved of in the presence of guests or non-intimate relatives (nâmahrams; see chapter 2). This rule, as many others, is not absolute, but my advice is always to be conservative rather than too forward and unwittingly causing offense.

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