Official Name: Islamic Republic of Iran
Size:1,648,195 sq km
Population:78,868,711 (July 2012 est.)
Average age: 27.4 years
GDP Per Capita: $13,200 (2011 est.)
Religion: Muslim (official) 98% (Shia 89%, Sunni 9%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha’i) 2%
Type of government: theocratic Republic
Curios Fact About Iran: Among many interesting fact about this country we have to mention three that I found particularly unique from the places we have visited before. Iran is ruled by a calendar that is now known as Solar Hijri. Made up of 6 months of 31 days, 5 of 30 and one of 29 or 30 (depending on whether or not a leap year). For them the New Year, called Nowruz, begins at the spring equinox and is the largest national celebration. Also, according to Islamic law Friday is the weekly holiday. Consequently Sunday is a normal working day on which banks and embassies are open, a bit odd to Western culture. Iran has also a peculiar time difference relative to GMT +03:30 hours world of difference. Finally we found out that there is a strong no-weapon policy in the country and police man normally do not carry any fire arm. Needless to say we felt very safe in every place we went in the country.
This time our friend Mortezar helped us fill the answers to our intriguing questions.
Which would you say is the National Food Dish of the country?
Cholo Kabab Koubide (Rice + Kebab). This food delight can be found practically anywhere. The Kebab can be either of chicken, beef or lamb. The rice is served in an abundant amount on top of the meat and is often decorated with a little of saffron rice.
Another favorite of us is Fesenjan, a truly gourmet food. It is meat and beans dressed in a walnut sauce that makes your mouth drool upon the only sight of it. It is served with fried onion on top and is often accompanied by rice.
On a special note, the rice in Iran is superb and it’s consistency and flavor is like no other that I have tasted.
A local Joke?
Our former roommate and friend Mortezar helped us out with some Iranian humor. Once again we have to say that the ideas and opinions expressed on this joke do not represent Tasting Travels on the matter.
Once a Lur (Lurs live in the west side of the country and are popular to be stupid and naive and also they fart) is at the baker’s line and suddenly he farts. Everyone turns to stare at him. He plays it cool and says: “Seriously? What kind of bread is this? It deserves a fart.” The next day, he’s on a bus and suddenly farts again. Everyone turns to stare at him. He says: “Seriously? That was their bread, and this is their bus!”
Which do you consider the National Favorite Sport?
Wrestling is considered the National Sport, and just to let you know how serious Iranians are on the subject, just last Summer Olympics held in London, 6 of their 12 medals where in the wrestling department. Four of them were gold, a nice number to re-affirm their name among the greats in this sport.
Which would you say is the favorite soft drink?
Douq, which is the name of a favorite Yogurt drink is among the favorite soft drinks of Iranians There is also a very popular variety of non-alcoholic flavored beer as well as the best soda pop drink I ever came across with, the famous and 100% Iranian made Zam Zam.
Who do you consider to be the National Heroe?
In my personal opinion it is Cyrus II the Great.
A Music group loved by young and old?
Referred to as many as “Iran’s greatest living master of traditional Persian music.” we introduce Mohammadreza Shajarian.
On the other hand, we got to mention our own pick, Rastak a great ensemble that combines folklore, tradition and a contemporary sound without being modern.
Favorite T.V. Show in this country?
Shabhaye Barareh (Barareh Nights directed by Mehran Modiri). All Modiri’s series are popular.
Most popular brand of cars here in Iran?
KIA, Pride and we did see some SEPA cars around. Cars here in Iran are very expensive, but the cost of gasoline is ridiculously cheap compared to western standards. The cost per liter is around 15 cents of a Euro.
The lastest and most popular movie made here?
A Separation by Asghar Farhadi
A couple has to make a decision to leave Iran to better the life of their child or to stay and take care of a parent suffering from Alzheimer; however, the couple’s marriage may end in divorce.
Most common name for Men and Women? Mohammad / Fatemeh
How many letters are there in your alphabet?
In Iran people speak Farsi and it´s alphabet is composed of 32 letters. The script is read from right to left and letters change shape when they attach to each other in a word. We don’t write short vowels in words but long vowels are considered a letter.