Kerman-Related Persian Idioms

Sizdah Bedar- Celebrating 13

Age is Just a Number (or a year if you live in Iran)

The Language of Honking

Odd and Even Days

It's Friday! Wait, the weekend's over?

Iran and the World Cup

Toman vs Rial: Money in Iran

Shahnameh-related Idioms and Proverbs

The Humble Iranian, or The Art of Taarof, Part 5

Iranian Nowruz- Haft Seen Table

Nowruz 1393

Iranian Nowruz- Chaharshanbe Suri

Nowruz Messages

Iranian Nowruz- Haji Firouz

Turquoise of Neyshabur

Who Jinxed You? Iranian Superstitions, Part 3

The Iranian Death Wish

Gestures and Body Language in Iran

Zoroastrian Make Up Alleys

The Zoroastrian Neighborhood of Yazd

The Zoroastrian Calendar

5 Things to Buy in Yazd


... and we're back!

Shabe Yalda

Sefid ya Siyah? White or Black? 

Stuck in Roodarbaisti


What's in Your Fruit Bowl?

Iranian Superstitions, Part 2

Iranian Superstitions, Part 1

Photo of the Day- Rug Weaving

A Guide to Hijab in the Islamic Republic

Why Did the Iranian Cross the Road?

Who's the Most Hospitable of Them All?

The Iranian Traveler

Ode to Simorgh

A Lesson from Mulla Nasrudin

Iranian Artwork 

My Albaloo Summers

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder, with a Persian Twist

Iranians are Flowers, or The Art of Taarof, Part 3

Camel Country

Nothing is Worthy of the Iranian (or The Art of Taarof, Part 2)


  1. A persian girl I know, she is muslim but not religious, told me that if a non-muslim man marries to a persian woman he has to convert to islam if he is going to travel to iran with her (that demands the iranian laws), their children have to be muslims too in order to be accepted by the iranian relatives (social conventions), and the women don't take the familyname (surname) of a foreigner husband because they want to keep their iranian surname (national pride?). I would like the iranian views about these.

    1. Hi, thanks for the comment. As far as I know, if a non-Muslim man marries an Iranian woman and wants to travel to Iran, he does have to convert to Islam, but it's not really official. It's more of a symbolic gesture in which he verbally says that he accepts Islam. It's not like there are any legal documents or quizzes involved. They aren't going to make him pray or go to a mosque or anything like that.

      I've never heard of children not being accepted by their Iranian relatives because they weren't Muslim. It's very strange to hear such a statement. I can't imagine it being true. I have plenty of friends and family members who aren't Muslim, but their Iranian relatives both in Iran and elsewhere would absolutely die for them.

      As far as the family name, Iranian women, regardless of who they marry- Iranian or not-, do not take their husband's name. My mother never took my father's last name, and he is Iranian. It's just not done in Iran. In fact, it's a little strange if a woman does change her last name.

      I hope these answered your questions. Feel free to write with any other questions and thank you for reading!

    2. thanx a lot for your comments Pontia!

      about the children being muslim it might be because the girl I know has a very religious mother !

      About the wife not taking the husbands family name, this is strange in the west! It is done in some cases but it is uncommon, it is famous women or feminists that keep their own family names. I think that family is one unit and having the same family name contributes to that.

    3. Glad to answer questions anytime! Regarding the children, I can see how a religious family may be disappointed if the children aren't Muslim, but I still can't imagine their not accepting the children because of that. Hopefully that doesn't happen :)

      And being Iranian-American, I see both sides of the issue of the last name. I agree that a family is one unit and the same last name contributes to that. But at the same time, I can't imagine completely changing my last name- I think I would feel like I wasn't me anymore. I'm not married yet, but I've thought that perhaps I would just add my husband's last name instead of changing it. I think that could work for a compromise :-)

    4. In Greece, the woman keeps her last name as well.

  2. Your are a reasonable girl Pontia ! :-)

    Do iranians in the west celebrate christmas? I don't mean religiously like going to church but in the sense of exchanging gifts and putting up the Christmas tree?

    The iranians I know by the way where I live (Norway) are fine people !

    1. Haha, thank you! :) Yes, I would say most of them do. I grew up in a Muslim family, but my parents never wanted my siblings and I to feel left out (when in Rome, do as the Romans, right?), so we put up a Christmas tree every year and exchanged gifts. My parents always felt is was important for us to embrace the best of both cultures. I even went to church a few times with my school- my parents thought it was a great opportunity to learn about Christianity. I would say they are pretty reasonable people too! :)

  3. Nice, love from a greek who lives in norway :-)

  4. Is it contemporary greek or ancient greek, azizam?
    There are some common with farsi words in contemporary greek that I know of, like:
    safari (travel), mousafiris (guest), derbederis (nice chap), dounias (world), dervisis (nice chap), naziara (for a girl, naze), mpampas (daddy), thygatyr (daughter). There is also the idiom "milas mia glossa farsi!" meaning you speak a language fluently.

    1. Contemporary Greek. Thanks for the tips!! I hope ego milao ellinika farsi one day :)

  5. πολυ καλα κοριτσι μου γλυκο!
    These are cross cultural greek-farsi videos in youtube:
    Enjoy shirinam :-)

    1. Beautiful! Damet garm, kheyli mamnoon :) Efharisto poli!!

  6. Greeks and Persians have so many commons between their cultures with so much history to present. The only difference is the religion but this is enough sometimes to be an obstacle for the happiness between two persons. God bless both Iranians and Greeks.
    Kheili mamnon Pontia for this wonderful site!
    From a greek majnon

    1. It's true. I'm always learning about similarities from my Greek friends. But yes, unfortunately sometimes that happens with religions. Efcharisto for reading!

    2. This a song that I really like (
      A great collaboration between Iranian, Greek and French musicians.
      hope you like it!!!
      All the best!

    3. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing that. All my best!

  7. I'm learning farsi and I'm so happy to find your blog. Man Unani hastam and I'm so amazed finding that we have so many common words and culture. Ofarin for the great job that you have done for this website, mashallah.

    1. Hi and thank you for your comment. So glad that you found my blog and thanks for reading it! I'm also learning Greek :) We definitely have a lot in common!


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