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Sunday, 4 October 2009

Iranian culture

The country of Iran or Persia is an ancient one. This is the home of the Persian Empire, the land of the Parthians, whose culture has outlived Alexander the Great and Rome's armies. The language of the people is Farsi, but it has regional variations as distinct as those encountered in England, but in a much larger country. This is a melting pot of races and peoples who are as diverse as they can be. The pictures shows some of the regional costumes one may encounter in travelling. They range from something similar to the Pakistani mode of dress from that border region to the distinctive dress of the North in Bactria, Kurdistan and the borders of Azerbijan. If you want to see multi-cultural, this is it.

Islam dominates the nation's thinking and is the majority faith, yet roughly 40% of the populace are Christian, Zoraostrian or something else. But all are proud to be Persian and proud of the long and distinguished history of their people and nation. The Persian Empire lasted longer than any other bar the Chinese. It certainly lasted longer than Rome, the Empire of Alexander or of the British and even the invading Arab and Mongol peoples have been absorbed to create the new Persia.

The colourful costumes are now produced only for special occassions, but they are a reminder of the diversity and pride of this ancient people whatever we may think of the present political arrangements.

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