Non-verbal communication

 Here are five examples of non-verbal communication practices in Iran

  1. Stand Up: In Iran it is very important to stand when someone enters the room, espcially if they are older than you. For Iranians, this is a sign of respect. (Fallahi, 2014)


  1. Ruboosi: When you meet someone of the same gender, it is common to shake hands and to do “ruboosi”, which is to kiss each other once on each cheek. And it needs to be clear that it is not actually a kiss, it is more like just touching their cheeks with yours and just make a kissing sound. It is also important to know that men and women don’t do this in public, unless there is a significant age difference. (Fallahi, 2014)nc2
  2. The thumbs up: putting your thumb up is the same thing as raising your middle     finger in the U.S. A lot of people in the big cities actually know what the thumbs up means in the U.S and they might not tell you anything, especially if you are a foreigner, but it is important to avoid doing it to avoid problems. (Fallahi, 2014)nc3
  3. Raising your eyebrows: Iranians tend to do this to express a “no”. (Fallahi, 2014)nc4
  4. Biting your lower lip: Biting your lower lip: Iranians bite their lower lip with their upper teeth to express disbelief or shame, that someone did something bad. They usually do it before hitting one hand with the other and keeping it there. They also bring their fist to their mouth. (Fallahi, 2014)Resultado de imagen para biting lower lip iranian in disbelief
  5. Hitting your own face: This means that you are amazed or afraid of something. It literally means “oh no!” . (Fallahi, 2014)nc7



Fallahi, Pontia. (2014). Gestures and body language in Iran. Retrieved from (Fallahi, 2014)


Perceptions, Beliefs and Values

    • Symbols:  An important symbol for this culture and what it means or entitles


Coat of Arms: Iran’s coat of arms symbolizes the five principles of Islam. The centered sword represents the country’s strength.

(World atlas,2016)


  1.  Numbers: Good numbers, bad numbers, luck numbers. Find out why.  The women’s parents were obliged to prepare and send cloths and other baby items. The seventh month was normally designated for this purpose. Number seven so precious to the ancient Zoroastrians was regarded the lucky number and normally seven sets of cloths, socks, hats for boys and small scarves for girls, diapers, bibs etc. were made and send for the baby. (Price, 2001)
    •  Superstitions: What type of superstitions are valid in this culture? Where do they come from?
  2. Sneezing: When someone sneezes, we usually say  “Sabr umad” which literally means “patience has arrived”. This means that it’s better to stop any ongoing actions or decisions and to give a little time for consideration and patience! (Shirin, 2015)
  3. The palm of your hand: If the palm of your right hand feels itchy , it means that you will soon earn some money. If it is your left, then you will lose some money. (Shirin, 2015)
  4. Staying inside their houses on the 13th of the Iranian new year (Shirin, 2015)
    • Colors: Are there any colors that are important? Why? What do they mean?
  5. Green stands for vitality, growth and prosperity. Green color represents Islam as it is believed to be a favorite color of Prophet Muhammad and his daughter, Fatima. Green is also mentioned several times in the Quran, in relation to paradise.
  6. White represents honesty, purity and peace
  7. Red symbolizes valour, sacrifice and bloodshed by the martyrs for the Iran’s freedom (Iran flag, 2002)
    • Credibility: Who is given credibility? Why?

Most of Iranians give credibility to Allah and his representatives, because the majority of their population are Muslims.

    • Food: What is considered as an important ingredient or a way of cooking? Why?

Dried limes, green herbs, rose water and rose petals, saffron,  sumac. All of these ingredients are used to give a great and exotic taste to Iranian food.

(Shafia, 2013)


We picked 5 value topics from Hofestede´s list bellow to talk about Iranian values:

•      Evil vs. Good

•      Dangerous vs. Safe

•      Ugly vs. beautiful

•      Abnormal vs. normal

•      Irrational vs. rational

•      Dirty vs. clean

•      Decent vs. indicent

•      Unnatural vs. natural

•      Moral vs. inmoral


How these values are represented in Iran? What beliefs are those values based on? Where do they come from? How do these examples contrast or not with Mexican culture?

Evil vs Good.

Iran, being and Islamic nation, finds most of their common values, based in the Islamic religion. According to the Islamic Holy Book, the Quran, the philosophy of good and evil is based on the nature of man. It has cautioned man to always be virtuous and avoid vices, the knowledge of both being inherent in him and not imposed from outside his personality.

According to Islam, the highest good is the belief in the unity and providence of Allah.  When the Holy Prophet Muhammad was asked which act is the best, his reply was that the belief in Allah is the only act that can be described as good. On the other hand, when asked about the most heinous sin in the eyes of Allah, he replied that it is the act of setting up another god beside Allah. Evil, cruelty and falsehood are as a result of man’s submission to his immodest desires and everyone holds them to be undesirable.

This is why their actions are ruled by God´s willing, cause if they act according to their god, they are being good people, but if they act according to their will, desire, and as Linked In (2015) says, their “Immodest desires”, that´s where the evil will reside, so they avoid acting like that so they are not considered evil. But they also believe people who act not according to their god, are evil people, and defending their God´s will is the good, that is why they find good in wars that defend against the evil, the one´s who are against or not with Allah.  This values are represented by their most significant virtues that lead their way to goodness, which are charity and philantropy, forgiveness, tolerance, honesty, kindness and leniency, kind treatment to animals, justice, fulfillment of promise, modesty and humility, decent speech, trustworthiness, anger management, anger management, sincerity and respecting the elders.

In contrast with Mexican culture, I think it´s a little bit similar to what happens with the Holy Bible and what our Christian God says. The bible, God, and the entire Catholic church have found rules and behaviors on what is good and evil. That´s why we believe in women as beings that should be pure, submisive, people that should wait… And we find evil and represent evil also by women who don´t wait, who are sexually free or active, and who are not submisive to men. Also, many of their virtues, are shared with the catholic religion.

Dangerous vs. Safe

Since we are talking about actions, values, virtues and paths to the good and the evil, their dangerous and safe perceptions and values are based of the “fear of their God”.  For them, being safe, means to follow Allah´s path, philosophy, rules, behavior, then, they will cultivate a safe and beatifull after life, if not, if they are hipocrite with their religion, if they commit acts punished by Allah like suicide or abortion under not permmited situations, for example, the worst afterlife is awaiting them, and there is where they find danger. For example, they find safer to go to war by defending Allah´s vision, than not following Allah´s vision and not defending it, that would be more dangerous in their consideration.

As we can see, the first point, this one and the fourth one, are really related. All of them are related, but this three have really marked values into following the path of goodness traced by Allah in their holy book. In contrast with Mexican culture, we also have this catholic believe that if we behave in a “right” way, we will go to heaven, that means Paradise, and if not, we will go to hell, but we don´t share this same idea of the fearing of God, we are used to believe in God´s mercy and forgiveness.

Decent vs. Indecent

In Muslim tradition, it is considered indecent for them, but mostly for woman to show the human body. It is required to be modest with the body, plus is not only considered indecent to show it, it is also immoral and unlawful. Jenkins (2014) says:

Muslim men and women are both told in the Qur’an to lower their gaze (avoid looking lustfully), and guard their modesty (refrain from indecent behavior). (24:30 -31). As Soyut Cebir put it, why do you want to hug the opposite gender? Most men, even though it’s not readily admitted don’t mind hugging women because it’s the easiest way to get a ‘feel’, It’s the easiest, and most common form of social tradition where it’s taken advantage of here in the west. It goes without saying we are referring to non-related women.
While Men and women in Islam are required to be courteous, kind, and compassionate to one another. The Qur’an also lays down guidance as to how this is to be carried out while maintaining a sense of modesty.

In contrast to Mexican culture, it is also expected to not be that “show off” with the opposite sex in public, but this “limits” are clearly less strict than theirs. Also, this Islamic behavior is not only expected in public, but also, there are some rules of behavior for women and men being alone.

Ugly vs. Beautiful

Physical beauty by itself has little worth and is given no significance in Islam if it does not accompany inner beauty (piety and good moral traits). In their values, physical beauty has little worth in comparison with the inner being. As this people believe in covering and modesty of the body, beauty is found in intelligence, kindness, and as we have said before, in following beauty and goodness though attitudes and behavior lead by the Quran. And Ugly, is found in being against it, just as evil, they are related. Whatever that goes against this route of goodness and beauty traced by the Quran, is ugly and evil. In contrast with Mexican culture, where we can see that western cultures give a lot more worth to physical beauty, sometimes, I dare to say, so much more importance than inner beauty. Western cultures aren´t really modest about physical beauty, or just, “body”.

Moral vs. Immoral

Wood (2017) says:

Muhammad himself had sex with a prepubescent girl. His courtship of Aisha began when she was only six years old.ixMuhammad had a dream about her, which led him to believe that God wanted him to marry the young girl.xFortunately, Muhammad waited three years before having sex with her; nevertheless, Muslim sources report that Aisha still hadn’t reached puberty.xi Since Muhammad is the moral exemplar in Islam, his actions are still affecting young girls today.

As we can see, thanks to this piece of text, based in the belief that Muhammad is Allah´s voicer and example, in Iran´s culture, is not seen as immoral to have sexual relationships with prepubescent girls being a mature man, in contrast to our Mexican culture, where this, would be seen as immoral or sinner.



Jenkins, A. (Mar 27, 2014). Why is hugging the other gender forbidden in Islam. Quora. Retrieved from

Academic Research Paper Writing Services. (April 28th, 2015). Islamic View on Good and Evil. Linked In. Retrieved from

Wood, D. (2017). Historical Muhammad: The good, bad, downright ugly. Apologetics. Retrieved from

(2011). Our perception of beauty. Islamic Insights. Retrieved from

Iran flag (2002). Iran national flag. Retrieved from

Shirin (2015). Mysteries of Persian superstitions. Retrieved from

Price, M. (2001.) Birthday and Rituals of Birth. Retrieved from

World atlas (2016). Iranian symbols. Retrieved from

Shafia, L (2013). Louisa Shafia’s 5 Essential Persian Ingredients. Retrieved from


Iran´s oficial religion: Islam

Islam is a religion that emphasizes a feeling of dependency on God, the fear of god’s punishment on earth as well as the hereafter and a deep respect for traditions and for the past.

Their fundamental practices relay on “The Five Pillars of Islam”. The five pillars of Islam are five religious duties expected of every Muslim. The five pillars are mentioned individually throughout the Qur’an and Muhammad listed them together in the Hadith when he was asked to define Islam.This practices are:

•      Shahada (Confession of faith): A ritual profession of faith.This is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam. It expresses the two simple, fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim. First, “La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah”, There is no god but God and Muhammad is the prophet of God.

•      Salat: a ritual prayer which is performed five times a day, facing the Mecca´s direction.

•      The zakat (charity): Almsgiving is a central activity in Islam. The Quran explicitly requires it. “The fires of hell will heat up the coins and the greedy will be branded with it.” (9:34-35).


  •       Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan. Sawm (also siyam), commemorats the revelation of the Quran to humanity during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year.


  •       The hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca): At least once in his or her lifetime, each Muslim is expected to undertake a pilgrimage to Mecca, the sacred city of Islam. This holy journey is called the hajj in Arabic.

One of their most important beliefs is the Jihad, wich literaly means “struggle or effort”. This, has more than one interpretation, but it can be better understand by knowing there is and “Inner Jihad”, wich is related with internal, spiritual struggle, and “Outer Jihad”, Holy war, the struggle to defend or promote the cause of Islam with forcé if necessary.

The most sacred scripture for muslims is the “Koran”. The Koran is the sacred tect of Islam, the holy book. It contains the teachings of the Prophet that where reavealed to him From Allah, the “One and true God with no partner or equal”. Muslims gather ar mosques to worship Allah, pray, and study the scripture.

Other scripture, sacred but with lesser importance than the Quran, is the “Hadith”. The “Hadith” means “narrative”, or “report”. It collects the sayings and deeds of Muhammad (Alla´s messenger, he was both, political and spiritual messenger) and his followers.

According to Yaqub, the prophet is the authority of the Muslims. His words are the decisive judgment since he is believed as the most knowledgable of the doctrinal rulings. After the Prophet, the head of his household, the “imam”, is the authority regarding his most knowledgeability of the doctrinal affairs.

“Authority is that body whose mission is explicating judgments, as well as rulings, of the divine Islamic doctrine.” (Yaqub, 1)

For muslims, “Religious authority”, is the recognized capacity of an individual or an institution to sanction the undertaking of religious acts, both private and public. This, affects many Muslims and non-Muslims in their everyday lives as well as in exceptional circumstances. Whether derived from culturally accepted traditions, from legal and bureaucratic norms, from charismatic or successful individuals, or from unique personal or communal experiences religious authority has an enormous impact on the behavior of Muslims everywhere. (Jamal, 4)

Allah is Great

Allah is Great this I know,

For the Qur’an tells me so;

All of us to him belong,

We are weak but he is strong.


Allah is One

Related to none

Allah is One!

No father, no mother

No sister, no brother

No daughter, no son

Allah is One!

Their caligraphy is considered one of their forms of art, It is related to it´s religion in a really profound way. They write from right to left as they where writing in direction to the heart, they believe this is a way of communication with Allah.

About the picture: Their caligraphy is considered one of their forms of art, It is related to it´s religion in a really profound way. They write from right to left as they where writing in direction to the heart, they believe this is a way of communication with Allah.

In some of their holy days and rites, we find Muslim birth rites. The Muslim call to prayer or “Adhaan” (“God is great, there is no God but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Come to prayer.”), are the first words a newborn Muslim baby should hear. They are whispered into the right ear of the child by his or her father. After seven days the baby’s head is shaved. This is to show that the child is a servant of Allah. Other rituals that are held at the seventh day of the new born is the circumcision, the naming, and the “Ageegah”. Muslim baby boys are circumcised when they are seven days old. It is also tradition to choose a name for the baby on the seventh day. The aqeeqah is also traditionally carried out on the seventh day, sheep are sacrificed and the meat is distributed to relatives, neighbours and also given to the poor.

In their ethics, we find Islamic teachings on abortion and eutanasia or suicide. Muslims regard abortion as wrong and forbidden. All schools of Muslim law accept that abortion is permitted if continuing the pregnancy would put the mother’s life in real danger. This is the only reason accepted for abortion after 120 days of the pregnancy. Euthanasia and suicide are not included among the reasons allowed for killing in Islam, in fact, they are explicitly forbidden.

The Koran emphasizes over and over the majesty of God, the beneficence that He has shown to human beings in particular, the acts of obedience and gratitude that creatures owe in return to their Creator, and the rewards that await the faithful at the end of time.

For Muslims, events in life are predestined by the will of Allah. Therefore, their most common saying, “If God wills It.” They believe in fatalism, destiny unfolds according to God´s will. “Inshalle” is the Arabic word for “God´s willing.”

The Koran says, “No soul can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at a time appointed . . .”, “Thy God hath created and balanced all things, and hath fixed their destinies and guided them . . .”

Other important belief for Muslims is Judgement. There will be a day when all Muslims will stand before God and be judged. that day a person’s deeds will be evaluated. “Those whose good deeds outweigh bad deeds will be rewarded in Paradise; and those whose bad deeds outweigh their good will be judged to hell. Whether one’s good deeds outweigh one’s bad deeds is a subjective manner, though, known only by God.” One of the questions that are going to eb asked for Muslims in the afterlife is: “Did the person recognize God alone and endeavor to live by Allah’s commands [?]”.

The Koran makes it very clear that merely professing Islam is not enough. In fact, some of the cruelest of all punishments in the afterlife fall on those who were hypocrites during their lives.

Their arquitecture is really emblematic for this culture. It´s known for their amazing geometric forms based. They are really related to their religion and algebra, wich has a lot to do with their religion to.

About the picture: Their arquitecture is really emblematic for this culture. It´s known for their amazing geometric forms based. They are really related to their religion and algebra, wich has a lot to do with their religion to.


Religion Library: Islam. (2008). In Patheos Library. Recovered from

Sacred Texts. (2017). In Finding Dulcinea. Recovered from

BBC. (2014). Religion. Retrieved on 2017, from Islam:

         ReligionFacts. (2017). Retrieved on 2017, from Muslim rituals and practices:

Happening in Iran

Though Iran´s society has, as Sadjadpour (2016) says, an enormous potential and strong national pride, it´s facing hard times to run a modern international economy, Sadjadpour (2016) says that the reason for this is that the country is ruled by an unelected theocracy. Experts have been exceptical on thinking that Iran is going to respond to the necessity of to take Iran´s economy of the gorund and become an emerging market wich atracts global capital.


Sadjadpour (2016) says it is hard to increase in economy aspects when your gobernment is against one of the most powerfull economies in the world (The U.S.A.), but there is an enourmous desire, in a popular level to be part of the global economy. For Karim Sadjadpour, economic interests should be put before revolutionary ideologies. The man who is governing, acroding to what Karim says, is governing under the shadows. In comparison with other countries of the middle east, is pretty stable and this makes people confident, even the government. While Iran is going to be a country where western countries stablish companies or sell their oil, Iran is not creating a same system.

According to Affianian (2016), there´s an oportunity in May 2017 election for undertaking structural reforms. The end of the actual government give them, in opinión of Affanian. A chance to recover for this economic problems.

Corrupts with vested interests have played for years with Iran´s economy, they have benefit with special privileges for decades. For Affanian (2016), Combating against them is the real key, takling unemployment, low wage growth, poverty and recession as just “half-baked efforts”.

As 2017 menas a year for uncertainties to Iran, what the country, experts want Iran to brace the new and get rid of the old. As for many other countries in the world, a White House run by Donald Trump means they have to be aware, prepared, and start building a strong economy.

Only last week, Tehran Chamber of Commerce–the country’s biggest private sector assembly–voiced strong frustration over the counterproductive policies that have hamstrung domestic production. This burst of rancor at the end of the tenure of a government viewed as harbinger of positive change only four years ago should act as a wakeup call.

They are under a nuclear deal, as Affianian says, “The economy needs a groundbreaking decision to turn things around–something in the spirit of the nuclear deal itself.”



Affianian. M. (December 26, 2016). Iran´s Economy in 2017: Time for reforms. Real Iran. Retrieved from

Sadjadpour. K. (May 3, 2016). Iran´s Economic challenges. Carnegie Endowment for international peace. Retrieved from


As history has developed and we have entered more in this globalized world, we have created some stereotypes related to some cultures, countries, or groups. This are 3 of the most common stereotypes attributed to Iran, and this is how we deny them:

1. “Iran is an aggressive and hostile country”. That is probably the most common stereotype about Iran, but people who think this is completely wrong. Amazingly, Iran is in fact a very peaceful country. “Iran is not a military threat. It has very low military expenditures even by the standards of the region”. (Moallemiam, 2014) Society thinks that Iran is pretty dangerous, because they are confusing them with Iran. “According to Juan Cole, Iran has never launched an “aggressive war” in modern history, and its leadership adheres to a doctrine of “no first strike”. The country’s military budget is the lowest per capita in the Persian Gulf region besides the UAE. Since 1979, there are no foreign military bases present in Iran. According to Article 146 of the Iranian Constitution, the establishment of any foreign military base in the country is forbidden, even for peaceful purposes.” (Moallemiam, 2014)

2. Women in Iran are mistreated. There’s a lot of people who think women in Iran do not have the same rights as men, people think that woman aren’t even allowed to drive, but that is because they confuse Iran with other countries in the Middle East. Some people think that women are not even allowed to study, but “According to UNESCO world survey, Iran has the highest female to male ratio at primary level of enrollment in the world among sovereign nations, with a girl to boy ratio of 1.22: 1.00.” (Moallemiam, 2014)

3. Iran is a dessert. Iran is in fact not just a dessert and it has a lot of mountainous regions. A lot of people think that it is terribly hot in Iran, because of their stereotype of a complete dessert, but in fact the weather is pretty chilly in the mountainous cities and it even snows in plenty of cities.


Moallemiam, P (2014). Iran: What are some common stereotypes about Iranians that are largely untrue?. Retrieved from: