Every city has its own story

2019-08-17

“Each city has its own story to tell” Let us show our Persia From a different perspective Yes, this is about an ancient civilization who changed the map of the world. Cyrus the Great and his life story has touched many in their own ways. As far as I am concerned the fatal mistake committed in 1935, when Reza Shah the founder of Pahlavi dynasty decided to change the name of the country from Persia into Iran, he didn’t realize the damage he did to the history and Identity of a Nation: In the Western world, Persia (or one of its cognates) was historically the common name for Iran. On the Nowruz of 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi asked foreign delegates to use the term Iran, the endonym of the country, in formal correspondence. Since then, in the Western World, the use of the word "Iran" has become more common. This also changed the usage of the terms for Iranian nationality, and the common adjective for citizens of Iran changed from "Persian" to "Iranian". In 1959, the government of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Reza Shah Pahlavi's son, announced that both "Persia" and "Iran" could officially be used interchangeably.[1

“Each city has its own story to tell”

Let us show our Persia

From a different perspective

Yes, this is about an ancient civilization who changed the map of the world. Cyrus the Great and his life story has touched many in their own ways. As far as I am concerned the fatal mistake committed in 1935, when Reza Shah the founder of Pahlavi dynasty decided to change the name of the country from Persia into Iran, he didn’t realize the damage he did to the history and Identity of a Nation:

In the Western world, Persia (or one of its cognates) was historically the common name for Iran. On the Nowruz of 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi asked foreign delegates to use the term Iran, the endonym of the country, in formal correspondence. Since then, in the Western World, the use of the word "Iran" has become more common. This also changed the usage of the terms for Iranian nationality, and the common adjective for citizens of Iran changed from "Persian" to "Iranian". In 1959, the government of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Reza Shah Pahlavi's son, announced that both "Persia" and "Iran" could officially be used interchangeably.[1

Everyone knew Iran as Persia and they used to enjoy the history which had studied in the school and in the past.

The History

The Arian who moved to the plateau of Iran about 5000 years ago would not have imagined that they were the people who would change the history of mankind.

Iran, which today is about 3 times as large as France, 7 times Uk. 3 times Spain, takes its name from the Aryans, which means land of the Aryan, an Indo-European nomadic people originally from Central Asia, who in Several migrations centered the high plateau in the second millennium BC.

It was the Greeks who applied the name of Persia to the land, taking it from Persia or Fars, the south –western province in which was the homeland of the Achaemenes.

 

Scholars are apt to thing of the present country as Persia and of Iran as being the much larger territory of the past, which included part of the Caucasus, central Asia, Afghanistan and Iraq, all of which were Iranian or partly Iranian in language and culture.

Some of the most ancient open settlement in the world have been found in Iran, dating from 8000 BC or earlier, but little is known of the origins of their inhabitants.

 

Later civilization such as Akkadians, the Urartian’s in north –western Iran. And the Elamites in Khuzestan have left monumental traces of the rich cities and conquests, of then depicted in vivid bas-reliefs carved into the cliffs overlooking the country’s ancient highways, and in written records.

The history of Iran, however, properly begins with the rise of the Medes in the western and northern parts of the Plateau from at least the eight century B.C. onwards.

The royal houses of the Medes and the Persians, both of Indo- European stock, were united when the daughter of the Median King Astyages married Cambyses I, son of Cyrus I, King of Fars.

Cyrus II(The Great), the offspring of this marriage defeated his grandfather, Astyages, in battle 55p B.C. re-affirmed the fortune of the Achemenian  dynasty and established his new empire with capitals in at least Pasargadae (Fars) , Babylon and Ecbatana, present – day Hamadan.

The later Achaemenians combined the worship of Ahura Mazda, the wise lord of the prophet Zoroaster, with the worship of Mithras and that of Anahita. Goddess of water and fertility

Cyrus, whose conquests ranged from Central Asia to the Mediterranean, treated his vanquished enemies with a generosity and tolerance remarkable for his time.  It was he who liberated the Jewish exiles in Babylon and restored Jerusalem to them. His successors, particularly Darius the Great and his son Xerxes (who defeated the Spartans at Thermopylae and incurred the lasting hatred of the Greeks by burning the Acropolis in Athens, continued the expansion of the empire which included many of the Greek islands, it reached north of the banks of the Danube, south to the Egypt and Ethiopia, and north and east to Afghanistan and India. The most outstnaidng monument of the Achaemenians existing today is the magnificent ceremonial city of Persepolis, near Shiraz, built by paid, not slave labour as was custom among other nations at the time.

It was Alexander the Great who defeated the last of the Achaemenians, DariusIII codamanus, in 331-30 B.C., and burnt Persepolis, some say in revenge for the destruction of the Acropolis. Alexander who married Darius’ daughter, died only a few years later and his empire was divided between his generals, Seleucus I ultimately winning Iran and founding the Hellenistci dynasty of the Seleucids, with a new capital at Ctesiphon on the Tigris, Greek settlements and temples were established in Iran but the dynaty was soon challenged by the Arsacid Parthians, an Iranian people from the north- east, who first achieved a measure of permanent control of the Iranian  plateau 238B.C.

The Dynasties who were dominant:

After the fall of Achaemnians by the force of Alexander and after that the domination of the Parthians with the the duration of 500 years, the following dynasties came to be!

Chronological History of Iran

B.C.

550-330 Achaemenian

330 – 247 Alexander & the Seleucids.

247 B.C. – 224 A.D.

A.D.

224 -642 Sassanian

642-661 Muslim conquest of Persian

1256 – 1383 Mongol Period

1501 -1736 Safavid Period.

1736 – 1795 Afsharid and Zand Period.

1795 -1925 Qajar Period.

1925 – 1979 Pahlavi Period

1979 – 2019 Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran Today.

I like to point some facts about Iran today and for the people who are going to visit the country to have some facts about the country and the people where they will be visiting, I have chosen to take some information from the Book called “Culture Shock” by Maria O’shea. A guide to customs and Etiquette. In this book, the reality of the customs and the reasoning is put forth.

 

 

Shifting Images

Not too long ago, Iran conjured up a certain image in the west’s popular imagination. It was Persia, the land of flying carpets, long haired cats, oriental splendor and incalculable oil wealth. Iranian were perhaps best known as visiting students with apparently unlimited funds and a taste for luxury, white suits and a lot of partying. Westerners working in Iran enjoyed a life that was both luxurious and exotic. The Iranian government offered generous stipends and facilities to foreign academics and researchers, who found Iran a pleasantly relaxed and open society compared to other Middle Eastern states.

In 1979, everything suddenly changed. Iran took a different path to live and run the country.

Contrast upon contrast.

Iran is like no other place on earth – it is rife with contradictions and internal contrasts. Iran is part of the Middle East, although not an Arab country, it is firmly within the Islamic world, but its people practice a distinctly different form of Islam compared to other Muslim countries. It is a developing country, yet is has substantial oil wealth. Politically, Iran is a revolutionary state, but one with conservative values.

Iran is an overwhelmingly Muslim country, yet it is markedly different in atmosphere and political style from all other Muslim countries. You may have lived in Muslim countries, or may feel that you are familiar with Islam, but if you are expecting the same religious practices or philosophy as in , for example , the Arab states or Pakistan, think again. 99% of the population are Muslims and 90% of whom are Shi’ite Muslims.

 

Geography

The structure of the government and the political values are beyond this context and we will continue to describe more about the Geographical state and divisions.

Iran is 1.650.000 square Km in area, from

the North it faces Caspian sea, on both sideare Azarbyejan , Torkeminstand.

The east, Afghanistan, Pakistan,

The south, Persian Gulf and Arab states

The west, Iraq and Turkey.

The Weather:

Iran has very diverse weather patterns, It is possible to ski in the mountains and swim in th sea at the same time of the year. The uplands have hot summers and very cold winters, with snow in the winter and rain in the spring and autumn. The central plateau has scorching summers and bitterly cold winters, with almost no rainfall. The Caspian littoral has its own microclimate, with high rainfall(200)centimeters per year.

Iran’s different colors

As Iran is very much a multiethnic society, the various attributes of the ethnolinguistic groups that make up the population are part of everyday life. It is useful to be able to understand common perceptions of the different peoples and the ways in which they are stereotyped.

The different groups are:

The Azeri: who comprise 20million people who are generally called Turks in Iran. They are concentrated in the northwest of the country in the province of East and West Azerbaijan and also in Tehran.

The Kurds: numbering 6 millions, make up almost 10% of Iran’s population, they have tended to remain in the mountainous western border provinces, especially Kurdistan, and have not traditionally migrated to Tehran or other central cities, unlike Azeris.

The Arabs:  Like the Kurds, 2.5 million, the Iranian Arabs have largely tended to stay in their area of origin, the southwest and south of the country, near the Persian Gulf.

The Turkomans:  The one million or so Turkomans living in eastern Iran, are the descendants of the nomadic Turkish tribes who once ruled Iran.

The Baluchis: Although there are only 750.000 Iranian Baluchis, they are part of a larger ethnic group spread across the border into Pakistan and Afghanistan. They have a very distinctive culture their own language and are often physically identifiable. They live in the southeast of Iran.

The Nomads: Successive Iranian governmetns have waged determined campaigns to settle or control Iran’s nomadic population. This has been partly as nomads do not fit in with the government’s image of a modern state, they are hard to control and integrate into the state ideal and often unpopular with the settled population.

 

Social definitions and divides.

In addition to the ethnolinguistic groups described above, there are several other groups in Iran who have distinctive cultures and possibly speak names dialects of Farsi that would not really be classified as distinct languages. These groups can be regionally defined, as the inhabitants of certain cities are considered to have distinctive character traits.

Rasht: The in habitants of the northern Iranian province of Gilan, whose capital is Rasht, are technically known as Gilakis, as is the dialect they speak, but they are more commonly known as Rashty.

Isfahan: The citizens of Isfahan are reputed to be stingy and grasping, much as Scottish people are portrayed by the English.

Tabriz: The people of the Azeri city of Tabriz are famed for their gruffness and unwelcoming attitude to outsiders, the latter a trait that many Iranians attribute to all Azeri. The men are famed as street toughs who pick fights.

Shiraz: Shirazis are considered to be fun- loving sybarites with sophisticated lifestyles who are warm and friendly to outsiders. This perhaps befits the inhabitants of Shiraz (the resting place of the poet Hafiz), often described as the city of wine and roses.

Qom: This is a sacred Shi’ite city, much like a bigger version of the Vatican in Rome.

Mashhad:  The people of the Shrine city of Mashhad are of course famed for t5heir religious fervor, but they are also known for their business acumen.

Qazvin: To the west of Tehran, Qazvin is for some inexplicable reason, commonly claimed to be the rife with rapacious sodomites.

Hamadan. Up in the Zagros highlands of western Iran, Hamadan was traditionally an opium – growing region, the Hamadanis are famed for their use of opium, as are the inhabitants of the central of Iran, such as Yazd and Kerman.

Iran has a variety of format with in the cultural society which is very difficult to put in few pages for the Western or Eastern countries to understand. Obviously, it will not do justice to the readers who want to understand the complexity or the Iranian society for me to make a quick reference. The Culture Shock tends for the reader to understand how people live from day to day and what are the challenges of the Iranian society. At the end I like to thank you for your time reading this short article, should you like to known more about Iran and the culture, I will be happy to answer your questions through info@poonel.com