Download Among the Iranians: A Guide to Iran's Culture and Customs by Sofia Koutlaki PDF

By Sofia Koutlaki

Provides an within examine the hidden ideas that exist between Iranians, from well mannered habit and the underlying suggestion of face to gender roles to the picture that Iranians are looking to venture to the world.

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

Example text

I already knew enough to take off my shoes in the yard just outside the front door of his parents’ house. Being extra careful not to do anything wrong and following what others did, I noticed that as soon as his father came inside the house, he took off his socks, stuffed one inside the other in the shape of a ball, and tossed them behind the door. I did the same except for the tossing, and I sat down, thinking that, as in Greece, socks are probably classified with underwear and thus better kept out of sight.

It is sometimes pronounced jun, the latter option being more common. In relationships within the family circle, this is something of a paradox. By definition, family relationships are defined by intimacy or, at least, familiarity. On the other hand, two other considerations are also important: age, and whether a person is mahram, because an age difference and being a nâmahram can create a notional distance between speakers. In other words, a fine balance must be struck between deference and cordiality, with some speakers tending more toward the one or the other principle, often depending on the speaker’s temperament, mood, or character.

Older houses often have an ornamental pool. In traditional houses rooms were arranged around the central courtyard, much like houses in classical Athens, and the pool was the focal point of the whole house. In the days before piped water, the pool was used to store water for washing. Nowadays, although the pool has lost its practical importance, it still retains a spiritual significance and resonates deeply with the Iranian psyche: it is seen as the expression of a household’s purity of heart and the source of calm reflection.

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