Iranian custom of Taarof is rooted in the rich culture and literature of the Iranian people, and there is no equivalent outside the borders of Iran to describe it. One of the most important things to know when traveling to Iran is this custom, which has permeated all aspects of Iranian life. As described by a foreign tourist, Taarof is one of the most complex “arts of social etiquette” of Iranians. In this article, the Iran Travel Guide Center examines this tradition and how to interact with it.
The pattern of “social etiquette” is common in all cultures. Social etiquette refers to the appropriate speaking and behavior norms relating to how an individual in a social situation should behave and communicate with others. Thus, social etiquette is a way in which people communicate with each other. If you want to know more about Ta’arof, stay with Iran tourism.
Compliments are Exaggerated Respect!
“Taarof” is one of the social norms among Iranians and is an expression of mutual respect and emphasizes social rank. It involves a wide range of behaviors in social etiquette and plays an important role in social interactions.
Politeness has a high standing in the world of compliments. People reject what they accept as “compliments”; They say something they don’t mean; They say something they don’t feel; They invite without really intending to do so; Instead of transmitting bad news, they inspire false hope. People express what they wish would be, regardless of the reality of the subject.
In addition to being a recognized part of Iranian culture, Ta’arof is also a subject of study among Orientalists and tourists.
In her travelogue, “People and Sights of Iran,” Carla Serna mentions compliments as one of the characteristics of Iranians: Iranians’ use of compliments and affinities is both flattering and exaggerated. Your first greeting is: Welcome to your home. It may belong to you. I am the caretaker of the house and serve Your Excellency. But if someone who is addressed with such humble words wants to take Ta’arof seriously, he will soon realize that he is completely wrong.
Types of Taarofs
Iranian Taarof can be divided into 4 categories:
- Verbal Taarof: These are all the compliments that are within everyday conversations and relationships.
- Practical Taarof: These are Taarof expressed practically, such as inviting others, giving food, fruits, and sweets during receptions, and giving gifts, and flowers on special occasions (although verbal Taarof is also present in this type of Taarof).
- Physical Taarof: This type of Taarof uses body postures, hands, and facial expressions to Taarof a person. Such as hands-on invitations to dinner tables or gifts to others.
- Written Taarof: This Taarof is written in a variety of ways, such as informal notes or official letters. Even in newspaper and magazine congratulatory and condolence ads, as well as invitation cards for various occasions, we see this kind of Taarof.
In Iranian society, Taarof plays the following roles:
In Iranian social relations, Taarof plays a crucial role, so people begin their relationship with Taarof and end it with Taarof. The social connection of Iranians is almost impossible without Taarof. Taarof can take many forms. When socializing, conversing on the phone, etc. Additionally, it is important to remember that Taarof to people is different from Taarof to others.
Taarofs also play an important role in Iranian social status. An individual’s status can be determined by age, gender, economic status, employment status, social class, and so forth. Language and speech play a major role in this type.
Taarof play a valuable role:
It seems obvious in Iranian society that Taarof is interpreted as a social value and norm and has a significant role in the culture. Generation after generation, society, family, and education teacher institutionalizes this model in its various forms. Iranian children learn the etiquette of Taarof well and recognize and practice them as values. In Iran, Taarof is shaped by the values of “socialism”.
How to interact with the culture of compliments
In Iranian culture, the border between Taarof and love is very thin, which means that if you feel like kindness goes beyond your expectations, you can ask others not to Taarof you!