As an Iranian who interacts with a lot of foreigners (those who are probably interested in Iran or traveling to Iran), I come across a lot of interesting questions in my daily life and also discover some interesting but overlooked details about my country and its country Culture.
The questions usually range from more general topics such as politics, economics, and religion to minute details about people’s everyday lives in Iran.
Here are some of the most common topics I have been asked as an Iranian. So let’s see if you have the same doubts about this lesser-known country or not!
Do you live in the future
When I talk about dates and calendars in general, our Iranian solar calendar is one of the strangest details about Iran.
People are usually surprised when they understand that we use 3 official calendars in the country and the main calendar starts on the first day of spring and when they talk about the date here it sounds to them that we are living in a different era, probably in the future as we are about to begin the year 1400!
It’s Saturday, let’s go to work!
When most of the people around the world start their weekend, people in Iran get ready to go to work because it is Saturday! Yes, the week in Iran ends on Friday and so the weekend officially begins on Thursday.
So it is good to keep this in mind when organizing a trip to Iran as it can affect the details of your plans in many ways!
Iranian food is not Indian food!
Contrary to what many foreigners think about Iranian gastronomy, we are generally not used to eating spicy food, as is so common in countries like India.
Although we use more spices than other countries in general, these spices are usually not hot and spicy and tend to give our food a different taste.
You may feel the taste of turmeric, black pepper, saffron, and cinnamon in a lot of foods, but eventually the food doesn’t get spicy (although it would definitely be salty, sour, and stranger in general !!)
And do you wear it in the house too?
The hijab theme is always a controversial topic and difficult to explain in many ways. It has more to do with government rules and people’s beliefs than any other issue.
So, no, we dress normally in our homes. However, if you are invited to traditional or religious families, you may see a woman wearing it in the house for the sake of strangers as it depends a lot on family and religious beliefs.
Who drives in Iran and how?
Many foreigners have the idea that women are not allowed to drive in Iran, but that is not true. In fact, they’ve had the opportunity to drive for many years and they still do.
In my experience they are better drivers in big cities like Tehran as they respect the law more than many men (calm down! Just an idea !!). But it is true that driving in Iran in general might surprise (and even scare you!) In a few moments!
Is it really snowing in Tehran?
In contrast to the existing image of Iran, its capital and many other cities are green, with lots of beautiful trees and cool weather, and in fact the three thousand and some snow-capped mountains of Tehran complete the beautiful picture of this city.
Usually we experience snow in the city in winter, but other times of the year in Tehran you can see the snow on the mountains (and even go skiing!).
Iranian rap, Ghormeh Sabzi pizza?
Actually, it’s not a very strange and rare combination. Iranian rap and other Iranian versions of various types of music have developed in the modern day and now have an acceptable background and history.
As an Iranian, I listen to a lot of them as there are some well done raps, rocks and fusion versions of Iranian music with good Persian lyrics.
What might sound strange to you as a foreigner would likely be hearing Iranian classical music and Avaaz (or Awaz), an unmeasured vocal section of a mode in Persian music that sounds unfamiliar or completely new to you.