There are two sides to every story, and while Iran might be depicted as the bad guy in media, cinema, and books, the country’s everyday life is much different than many people think. While the “death to (insert thing I don’t like here)” is still happening, it is becoming less and less popular according to the people.
Iran does have some cultural differences, for example, many conversations are polite. A starving taxi driver might reflect the offer of payment before the rider pays him. It’s an odd social dance of politeness, but that’s just how it goes in Iran. Every interaction involving money is part of a ta’arof which mostly has someone refuse money before getting paid.
In addition, some people will refuse money entirely after the social dance, making it extra confusing but keeping your wallet full.
The laws of marriage and women
Marriage is highly prized, especially with women. While the laws have been more lenient as time goes by for females, some temporary marriages can be done by their husbands while still within the laws of Quran, and are a way to ‘live together without living in sin.’
In addition, many female athletic activities are starting to rise in Iran, such as swimming and parkour. It’s a way for them to fight against their clothing restrictions and even makes the actions even better because they are jumping and flipping while still wearing their restrictive clothing.
They can rebel, and since they often do it in secluded areas, not too many people notice. However, could it really be a good idea to have a large group of women who know how to move and are good at sneaking around be oppressed? If they get angry, the country could have a major problem!
A delicate balancing act
Many people inside Iran simply want to live their own lives, not controlled by the government or by their pasts or by the tensions dominating the world. They are trying to westernize themselves and yet also keep their own identity.
From eating fast food to taking selfies, the life in Iran is very similar to the life of someone in the U.S or in other parts of the world. They aren’t all repressed or fanatically devoted to religion, and although many people do treat religion seriously, some don’t.
While there are mortality police who enforce the rules for those who follow them, many offenses are simply warnings or a fine, and jail time and actual persecution are rare.
Learning the truth behind the myths
While Iran, like any other country, has myths and rumors, in this case, many are simply blown out of proportion. It isn’t all hatred and oppression, but instead just a different way of living under their government and worldwide sanctions.
Being able to understand the truth and the good people that live in Iran is just another way for the myths that cover Iran to be destroyed, and the truth to shine through.