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Traditions, customs you will only see in Iran – Part 6

Following is a presentation of cultural customs only Iranians will understand and you will find only in Iran.

To truly understand a country’s culture and people, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of their customs and traditions.

In Iran, there are plenty of customs that are as routine as drinking water for Iranians but they can leave a foreign traveler with a raised eyebrow.  

Read on to discover the cultural customs only Iranians will understand and you will find only in Iran.     

6) Sitting backwards or with your back to someone

Iranians consider it disrespectful to sit with their backs to someone especially elders and they try to avoid it by all means.

However, if it still happened, they will apologize in advance for their attitude. For example, if someone sits backwards to you, they will immediately apologize for sitting with their back to you saying excuse my back. And you must reply the “flower has no front or back”.

And sometimes, the person who is sitting backwards will return the compliment with ‘a nightingale sits behind the flower’. To sum up, the front sitting person is a flower, the back sitting person is a nightingale. No one is offended. It is all just a part of the insincere exchange of compliments and the complexities of Taarof in the Persian culture.

Part 1 – Soor Dadan or offering pastries

Part 2 – Charitable deeds (Kheirat)

Part 3 – Throwing water behind the traveler

Part 4 – Burning espand (seeds of harmala)

Part 5 – Parents calling their children ‘mom and dad’