As a tourist who is traveling to Iran, you need to be aware of Iranian culture and codes of etiquette. Iranviva Group has provided plenty of articles about different things you need to know, before traveling to Iran. One of the most challenging cultural phenomenon in Iran that you will sure encounter on your stay in Iran, is Taarof.
Taarof is an Iranian art of etiquette, a strong expression of respect that emphasizes both deference and social rank. Taarof is a key part of the Iranian culture.
For tourists in Iran who are unfamiliar with Iranian culture and taarof, in particular, it could be explained as an extreme courtesy that they need to be more acquainted with, before traveling to Iran. However, since it’s so complicated, it needs a lot of practice and experience to master it.
As an example, one of the most repeated words, tourists in Iran may hear while traveling around Iran, is the word “Befarma”, which is similar to “please!”, “after you!”, “help yourself!” or other polite expressions for offering a seat, a meal, etc., depending on the context.
According to taarof, it would be considered rude only to say ‘thank you’ and accept something the first time it is offered to you, without offering the same “befarma” in return. Iranians refuse it first, for one time or two, and then they will accept it.
As a foreigner in Iran, you are not expected to understand and follow the regulations related to taarof in Iran and use it in your encounters. It is not big deal at all. However, as “taarof” originates from the Iranians’ hospitality, you will encounter it on your trip in Iran for a couple of times while you are spending time with these wonderful people. This may sometimes put the foreign tourists in Iran in difficult situations, so you’d better be aware about it in different situations.
For example, one of the most common rules of taarof is to refuse any offer you get for the first time, to make sure it’s not taarof. You simply thank them for a couple of times, and when you make sure it is not taarof, you can accept it eagerly. Although it is a little bit tricky, but it expresses the extreme courtesy in Iranians.
To get more information about Iranian etiquettes and regulations you should be aware of before traveling to Iran, read Iranviva articles in ‘Essential Things to Know’.
Taarof, an Extreme Form of Courtesy
It might seem a little bit weird when you travel to Iran for the first time, but the more you travel to Iran, the more you will understand taarof, the elaborate, unwritten code of politeness in Iran. You’ll see it and feel it everywhere in Iranians’ daily life, while spending time with their friends, at the restaurant, in taxies, at the shops, talking on the phone, etc. There are plenty of common expressions to say things in a more polite way in Iran.
As we said earlier, this might seem a bit confusing for tourists who are visiting Iran, because it is not always easy to figure out who is doing “taarof” and who is not. However, taarof is not about hypocrisy or lying at all. Instead, it expresses some kind of respect and politeness among people. Taarof is a strong and sweet social act, which shows Iranian culture and Iranians’ hospitality.
Also, if you are thinking about traveling to Iran, just trust Iranviva Group and leave everything to Iranviva Group, to help you with making one of the perfect holidays in your life. In fact, Iranviva Group provides you with all the services you need for a truly relaxing and unforgettable stay in Iran, from articles on everything that you need to know about Iran before traveling to Iran, to a variety of Iran tours all around this country and different services you need as a tourist in Iran.