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    Life style and Cultural Issues




    What are Iranians like?

    • Iranians are very generous, hospitable, warm and friendly. If you happen to need to ask for directions, you can be sure that just by smiling and saying hello (salam) to someone on the street they will go out of their way to help and even might invite you to their home for dinner.
    • Iranians love to broaden their knowledge of other lands and understand other cultures so be ready for their curiosity and questions. In turn they will always be open to answering your questions!
    • If you happen to make friends in Iran and are invited to their home please remember that it is not expected of you to bring any gifts but if you buy some flowers, sweets or pastries on the way it will be considered an indication of your politeness and appreciated by your host. Please remember to remove your shoes before entering an Iranian home unless your host instructs you otherwise.


    • If invited to an Iranian persons house, here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
    • Punctuality is appreciated, so try to arrive at the invited time; 
    • dress conservatively
    • check to see if your host is wearing shoes, if not, remove yours at the door; 
    • accept any offer of food or drink
    • wait to be told where to sit; most tables are set with a spoon and fork only.


    • Iranians will use formal Persian to address others whom they have just met, so instead of using the informal ‘to’ to say you they will use ‘Shoma.’ When addressing those who are not immediate family or close friends, Iranians will use the titles Agha (Mr.) or Khanoom (Ms./Mrs./ Miss) before or after a person’s name.



    • Iranians are curious about everything and they want to know how you live in your country. If Iranians realize you are a foreigner they will try to ask you where you are from and whether you like Iran or not. So if you are coming to Iran, be ready to tell many people about your country and your own life!
    • There are some rules according to opposite sex relations;introduce yourself normally without handshaking but it is OK to handshake with the same sex.
    • Western music and dancing is banned in public but certainly you will hear music in all public places like malls,shops,resturants etc.
    • The thumbs up gesture is extremely rude in Iran, roughly equivalent to raising the middle finger in Western countries.



    • Another cultural trait you must know about Iranians is tarof, which is a form of Persian etiquette.
    • While demonstrating taarof, people try to do somebody a favor or at least show that they are willing to do it. An Iranian can always tell if this intention is fake or real, but it can be hard for a foreigner to see the difference. Fortunately nowadays the new generation in big cities is gradually doing less taarof but even so it is probably the most characteristic aspect of Iranian behavior.
    • For example when you go to a shop, the shopkeeper may refuse to quote a price for a few times or at the end of a cab ride, the driver may initially refuse to quote the fare. Just remember that most people offer three times / refuse three times before taking what they want. Don’t worry you will get the hang of it!
    • There is yet another type of taarof. It occurs when you are invited somewhere and the host keeps asking you to eat more because he is afraid you are doing taarof, or they don’t tell you that you have to pay for something and they will pay for you out of taarof.
    • However the good news is that since more tourists are travelling to Iran these years; Iranians are also becoming familiar with foreign cultures and have realized to avoid Taarof with tourists. So it's not that much of a big deal anymore!  But anyway, the best approach to handle Tarof is to be politely direct. Accept or reject as soon as you wish to.



    Common tarof expressions:

    Ghabeli nadare (It has no worth) = It's not a big deal.

    Naghabele (It is unworthy) = It’s not a big deal. (This is used when Iranians want to give a gift.)

    Ghorbanet beram (I will sacrifice myself for you) = Thank you very much.

    Khahesh mikonam (I plead with you) = You are welcome.

    Mehman ma /man bashid (Be my guest)= Be my guest. (This is what you will hear when someone refuses to take your money for a service they have rendered.)

    Daste shoma dard nakoneh (I hope your hand doesn't hurt) = Polite thank you. (This is used when you are accepting something you are offered.)

    About Us

    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.


    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.