As in any country that you visit, there are always customs and traditions of the local culture that you must think about. It always helps to do some research beforehand so that you are accustomed to a variety of the local traditions. Here are 5 tips that will help prepare you for a visit to Iran.
Tip 1: Rules of the Romans
There is an old saying that when in Rome, you should follow the rules of the Romans. Apparently, it is also the same while visiting Iran. When visiting any new place, it is always best to be respectful of the culture inherent of the city you are visiting. In Iran, this can mean that you must cover up more- like wearing leggings or pants under dresses, or wearing a headscarf or chador at times. Also, when entering religious places be careful not to have the blaring music turned up on a device interrupting the people around you.
Tip 2: Ta'arof – Price Negotiations
In Iran, there is a tradition while shopping where a so-called Ta'arof takes place. This only means that some sellers or taxi drivers may offer you a chance to pay them at a later time, or offer a different price. This is seen as a kind gesture in Iranian culture, but as a tourist, do not leave or walk away until you have paid the seller for goods or services. Insist on paying, but be polite.
Tip 3: Handshakes
In Iran, it is not proper for the opposite sex to shake hands-ever. Especially in a public or religious setting, this is simply not acceptable or a part of Iranian culture. Men only shake hands with men and women only shake hands with women. Do not encourage anyone to do any different while visiting Iran and be respectful of this custom. However, if you are friends of Iranian people things may be slightly different, but you should always inquire first.
Tip 4: Alcohol
If you are a regular drinker, even for social drinking, you may not want to visit Iran. At least, you will have to be prepared to take leave of those habits while there, because drinking is illegal in Iran. Although alcohol can be found some places, anyone found with it can face tremendous legal penalties. So, think twice about traveling there if you are best friends with the booze.
Tip 5: Photography
As in most cultures, people appreciate respect and thoughtfulness from tourists and visitors. In Iran, this means that you should be careful when taking photos, at least when they are of other people. You may want to ask for permission first and be especially thoughtful around women. This is just polite and will be appreciated by the locals.
At the end of the day, all of these tips can be used to help make your trip to Iran a success- and who knows, you may meet some great friends and local people during your visit. So be sure to keep these customs in mind during your stay.