Tehran Local Customs

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  • Local Customs
    by DAO
  • Local Customs
    by DAO

Most Recent Local Customs in Tehran

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    CHARITY BOXES

    by DAO Updated Jun 18, 2010

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    The first few times I saw these boxes I understood right away that the slot in the top was to put money in. What I didn’t know was for what. In Tehran (and some other cities) there are hundreds of these metal boxes on the side of roads where cars park. They are strong large steel boxes that are clearly anchored into the pavement (sidewalk). Oddly, they come in different colours and styles. I naturally assumed that it was how people pay for car parking. It’s not. They are actually charity collection boxes.

    Please note: before you put money in one you may want to make sure the Charity involved does not have a political wing/militia/army you do not agree with.

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    Churches in Tehran

    by call_me_rhia Written Apr 12, 2008
    a church in tehran

    Not everyone knows that has other religious buildings other than mosques. There are at least five churches that I know of: Surep Georg Church, Thaddeus Bartoqimus Church, Tatavus Church, Enjili Church, Assyrian Church - and maybe more.

    Another interesting and less known fact is that the Iran government is not trying to get rid of churches - quite the contrary, indeed. It is actually giving them money for restoration works, especially to older churches.

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    Valiasr Ave: the longest street in the middle east

    by call_me_rhia Written Apr 6, 2008

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    Valiasr Avenue

    Valiasr Avenue is quite an interesting street... it's the the longest street in the middle east, and maybe also in the world. it divedes tehran into east and west and runs from the Tehran's railway station in the south of the city to the Tajrish square in the north, for a total lenght of 19.3 kilometers. Just for fun, I would suggest you walk some kilometres and take a look at the shops and gardens that line it.

    Valiasr Avenue is of recent contruction: it was built by Reza Shah Pahlavi and originally it bore his name, Pahlavi Street. Then the Islamic revolution came and the name had to be changed... at first they chose it to be Mossadeq St. (from Mohammad Mossadeq, a nationlist Prime Minister) then they decided to make it more religious and turned it into Valiasr (from the 12th Shi'ite Imam.

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    WOMEN'S CLOTHING

    by DAO Written Feb 23, 2008

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    If you are a female visitor, you need to keep covered up. You don’t have to wear a full Chador and I never saw any veils. You do have to have your hair, shoulders and arms covered. Many women actually wear coats everywhere despite the heat. Hair covering can be a trendy scarf and not all your hair need be covered in Tehran. In rural areas, you really need to cover as much hair as possible.

    Men can wear anything except shorts. I know it’s not fair, but that’s the culture.

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    Political murals

    by grets Written Jun 11, 2007

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    Political murals are all over Tehran, often depicting scenes from the Iran/Iraq war as well as showing religious messages. Whole sides of buildings are covered, with what often amounts to fairly gruesome pictures. I am not entirely sure what purpose they serve.

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    Anti-American Graffiti

    by grets Written Jun 11, 2007

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    The walls of the former US Embassy was covered with anti-American graffiti. Photographs were theoretically not allowed, but I did manage to sneak a couple of photos. The building is now used for a high-security office, hence the no-photo rule. There were cameras pointing to the pavement in various places, so you had to position yourself carefully to avoid detection. Some of the slogans were quite amusing:

    “United States of America is the most hated state before our Nation.”

    “A portrayal of great Satan from state stroke of 19th August to November 1998”.

    “Down with USA”

    “We will make America face a severe defeat.”

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    Hejab!

    by baronedivandastad Written Jan 5, 2007

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    Summer attire

    When landing at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, austere signs will greet women with instructions to follow the "moslem" [sic!] dress code.

    In fact, Iran is the only country in the world where all women, regardless of their nationality or religion, must wear a headcover.

    But what is really the dress code? The answer is: it depends.

    A person coming in for business will never be expected to wear chador (the head-to-toe tunic that covers the whole body leaving only the face and hands uncovered. A more modest and practical jacket with long sleeves (mandatory) that covers your buttocks will suffice. This is called manteau, a French word for overall.

    If you come in the summer, go for lighter colours, though you must know that during the day colours worn by local women tend to be darker than during the night. Wearing something else than black will let you breathe better in the scorching heat.

    If you come in the winter, the choice is wider, but the rules are the same: no short sleeves and no shapes should be visible above the mid-thigh.

    Below the jacket you can wear jeans or normal trousers. They should not be too tight or transparent. In theory you should not wear sandals in the summer.

    This is theory. Reality is different, and you often see women wearing clothes that would be considered provocative even in Europe! As always, try and be modest in the beginning, and once you're here try to do like the locals do.

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    Chador chic

    by CliffClaven Written Nov 16, 2006

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    Yes, you do see women wearing the chador in Tehran. But they are much fewer than you might expect. You are more likely to see fashionable young women strolling through the city's constantly busy streets in styled costumes which completely fail to achieve the aim of the chador: to hide the shape of the female body. And although every woman wears a hijab or head covering, many of the younger women wear them far back on the head to reveal fashionable hair styles.

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    Darband teahouses

    by TheWanderingCamel Written Mar 19, 2006

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    If you really want to see Tehranis relaxed and enjoying life, the place to head for is the teahouses of Darband. The road up the mountain to the north of the city is lined with them and this is where the locals make for whenever they want to unwind, day and night. Friday (the weekend) night is especially busy with people of all ages eating, drinking (tea and juice - this is the Islamic Republic remember), enjoying the atmosphere and the clearer air up here. Things don't really begin to get going until quite late - 10pm or so - but the teahouses are open all day and it makes a pleasant change from the crowded city to come and sit by the river for lunch or an afternoon break.
    Getting here is easy - all the taxis know the place. The higher up the mountain you go, the more expensive the places become - some are very smart indeed.

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    Ayatollah Khomeini

    by johnsakura Written Oct 17, 2004

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    khomeini iran

    This next Info was taken from the website Khomeini Information

    Ayatollah Khomeini

    (1902- 1989) Iranian religious leader and politician.
    His name was Ruhollah ibn Mustafa Musawi Khomeini Hindi (meaning the Indian). The name Khomeini was taken from the town where he was born.
    Two titles have been used for him, 'Ayatollah', which is the title of a religious leader, but not the highest in Shi'i Islam. This was Khomeini's title at the time of the Iranian revolution, but he soon took the title 'Imam', which is definitely the highest position in Shi'i Islam. Actually this title is so high that this necessitated a a new interpretation of Shi'i theology.
    Khomeini became a highly respected religious teacher, based in Qom, but his position was not a leading one, when he in 1963 was arrested for opposing land reform and women's emancipation. He was exiled, and moved first to Turkey, then to Najaf in Iraq, where he lived for 13 years.
    For a short period Khomeini moved to Paris in France. At this time, in the 1970s, Khomeini had begun to be a symbol of the opposition facing the Shah.
    Khomeini's fight against the Shah was even more effective when conducted from abroad than it would have been inside the country. His message was recorded, and duplicated to music cassettes, which where smuggled into Iran. These cassettes where duplicated over and over again inside Iran with normal equipment, and Khomeini's message was quickly spread over all of the country.
    Radio broadcasting of his message was another form of urging people to disobedience.

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    People on the street

    by johnsakura Written Oct 17, 2004

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    theran iran

    You'll find the majority of people on the street nice people. I mean, if you're a man you'll only be able to talk with men and if you're a woman traveling you shouldnt talk to men either...hum..there it goes all the things I had to say about this tip...ah, the majority of people dont speak english, prepare youself for practicing your gestures.

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    Tehran in 1979

    by johnsakura Written Oct 17, 2004

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    theran islam

    This next phrase was taken from this folowing website: Revolutionary Islam

    "The story begins in 1979 in Iran. In that year, the U.S.-backed Shah and his family fled the country, and exiled cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to establish the Islamic Republic of Iran. Revolutionaries stormed the American Embassy in Tehran and took staff as hostages. After 444 days in captivity, the hostages were finally released in January 1980, after the terms that had been laid out were met."

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    Clothing

    by Nourin Written Dec 13, 2003

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    A woman is best dressed in pants and shirt, blouse, coat that covers the behind properly, and a head scarf that doesn't need to be tightly tied or very big. In Tehran you get away with more than in other cities without people looking twice.

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    Friday escape

    by Nourin Updated Dec 13, 2003

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    Tochal telecabin

    Fridays the city is as good as empty. It seems a lot of people go to the mountains north of the city for walking and picnic. There are three options; Darband, Darakeh or Tochal mountains. I visited Tochal and went up in the telecabin. 2800 toman to the top and back, 2000 for halfway and back, and the same price also for foreigners! :-)

    To get to Tochal take the bus to Tajrish sq. and from the north side of the square a taxi to Velenjak street where the entrance is. The bus will be 100 toman and the shared taxi (should be) 150 toman. The telecabin is open from 7 am to 11pm (5 pm Thursday and Friday). There are teahouses and places to eat on the stations and by the entrance.

    The taxis to Darband and Darakeh also leaves from the north side of the square.

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    DON'T BE SURPRISED WHEN...

    by vahiddavoodi Updated Sep 30, 2003

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    don't be surprised when you see this kind of scenes in the public views!
    you know that in iran it's not allowed to have releation closely in the public views.but it's very funy that young people in iran are very brave and ignor it !!
    if you would realy like to reach the true meaning of this issue read this poem :
    "Blue of the sea is forbidden
    The desire to see, is forbidden
    The love between two fish is forbidden
    Alone & together is forbidden
    To have a new love, you should not ask permission
    To have a new love, you should not ask permission
    Whispering & murmuring is forbidden
    Dancing of the shadows is forbidden
    Discovering the stolen kisses,
    In the middle of your dream is forbidden
    To have a new dream, you should not ask permission
    To have a new dream, you should not ask permission
    In this homely exile
    Write the simplest poems
    Say what you have to say
    Say long live life,
    Say long live life
    To write a new poem, you should not ask permission
    To write a new poem, you should not ask permission
    To write about you, is forbidden
    Even to complain is forbidden
    The fragrance of a woman, is forbidden
    You are forbidden, I am forbidden!
    To start a new day, you should not ask permission
    To start a new day, you should not ask permission"
    i hpoe that one day you understand me.
    but :
    hame ye bacheh haye iran khub mifahmand ke man chi migam! ok?

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Tehran Local Customs

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