Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The True Beauty of Iran

A Kurdish girl we met in the mountain village of Palanga, Kurdistan
My visit to Iran is so inspiring. Surely, I am not talking about politics and the politicians as I have the least interest in them but rather my observation is on the layman on the streets that crosses my path. It is only fair to write about the beauty of the people at heart before praising the beauty of the country. What impressed me most about the people of this country is the abundance of hospitality and generosity extended not only to foreign tourists but the culture is well established among the community.

The inward beauty of their hearts is manifested outwardly and it does not require a genius to see how sincere these people are. In the streets of Sanandaj, we thronged through the crowd, just to see what life is like in the capital city of Kurdistan. After few days in Iran, we got used to be the centre of attraction every where we go and it is no exception in Kurdistan. We must have looked so strange to them or probably they have never seen many tourists (or even Asian) in this city! All eyes were on us; smiling, waving and greeting and some would go to the extent of stopping us to ask where we are from. The greetings, “Welcome to our country” resonates almost every where we go!
The corns are popped in the tin

At the corner of the street we stopped to watch a man rattling the tin to make pop corn. It was interesting, he was shaking the tin with his hands until the corn popped and we were keen to taste his pop corn. We asked for a pack but he refused our money because…..we are guests in his country. It was only about 30 or 50 cents (USD) but he persistently refused to accept our money. Speaking to the man in Persian, our Iranian friend insisted that the man took his money and he finally did….and we got a big bag of pop corn that lasted until tomorrow!!

I learnt how simple life can be for these people and what it means to be generous. Generosity suffice even with a piece of bread and tea is hospitable enough to treat your guests! At the park on a hill in Sanandaj, a lady having picnic with her friends came to me to offer her food and in Shiraz, we ordered an ice cream but was given additional 2 small cups because there were three of us. I am deeply touched by the kindness of the people and that is where the true beauty of the country lies.

He continuously rattles the tin
The pop corn is ready
Delicious Pop Corns
The ladies who offered their food
In Kamyaran, the old man we met at the toilet invited us for lunch

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