When you plan to visit Iran, you’re required to know the embarrassing actions to avoid when travel to Iran. In other word, before you plan to visit Iran, you need to study the cultural differences, dos and don'ts in Iran, and what is illegal in Iran.
During years of contact with my tourists from around the world visiting Iran, I've witnessed some embarrassing situations where my guests did not know how to react.
In this article, I'm listing the 6 embarrassing actions to avoid when travel to Iran. By reading the following, I hope you will learn what tourists in Iran are expected to do on their Iran tours.
1- Entering the room with your shoes on in Iran
When you're experiencing your lovely Iran tour, you might get invited by a local person to their house and enter their room with your shoes on. In Iranian houses, you see everywhere is covered with carpets and people are required to enter the room bare-footed. So please take off your shoes before entering. Entering the room with your shoes on in Iran is not the rule in Iran but rather it’s what is common.
2- No Toilet-papers in public toilets in Iran
You're visiting an attraction on your Iran tour when suddenly you need to use the toilet. You find one and when you enter, you find no toilet paper is available. Please have a piece of toilet paper in your pocket before it's too late!
3- Refuse or Accept Ta'arof? That's the question!
There's this concept of Ta'arof in Iran which is difficult to understand if you are not familiar with Iranian culture. To make my point clear, I put you in a real situation.
Imagine you are invited to a local Iranian house and the host offers you only once: "Please come to my place". This is most probably the Iranian Ta'arof which is a sign of politeness by the person who invites and you're required to say "No, Thanks".
The host asks you the second time and you are most probably getting closer to the real offer but it's still uncertain and again you answer would be "No, Thanks".
The third time is when you can consider their offer as a real offer. Of course, this formula may not work in some situations but this has been my experience. I know it's complicated but that's the beauty of cultural differences. So how would you respond to Ta’arof in Iran?
4- Blowing Nose in Public
If you really want to grab everyone's attention, blow your nose in public. If you have to, please find a quiet corner to blow your nose. Not knowing the dos and don’ts in Iran would certainly create some embarrassment.
5- Zebra crossing in Iran
The traffic rules in Iran are similar to those of the rest of the world. However, some rules in Iran are slightly different. For example, when you're crossing the street on foot, you expect drivers to stop before the zebra line. Unfortunately, that does not work in Iran! In other words, just because there is a zebra line, does not mean cars will stop and let you go first! Instead, keep a very careful eye on the drivers to find the right and safe moment to cross the street. So, I would say zebra crossing in Iran is more of a decoration!
6- Thumbs up in Iran means the opposite!
Imagine someone has done you a big favor and you want to thank them. What you should avoid doing is to show a thumps up which by the way has the opposite meaning!
If you want to thank people, you can simply say "Merci".
However, thumbs up in Iran are getting more fashionable by the young generation to say Okay. Thanks to the social media, thumbs up in Iran are getting accepted more openly.
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