A month ago I’ve arrived in Iran. Things are quite different than I had expected. At the one hand I perceive this country quite differently to what Western media wants to make us believe this country is like. At the other I didn’t plan to stay in Tehran for so long!
After having meet family members including close ones like the daughter of my grandfather’s nice’s nice (I guess that makes me her 2nd or 3rd grade uncle) and my great-grandfather’s nephew I thank god that the majority of my family lives abroad…
So most of these people I met the first two weeks. I’m almost through with my obligatory invitations and visits. Here in Iran the system of these visits/invitations is ritualized and it is an obligation to meet all these people… making some of these events a bit stiff and boring.
But I don’t complain. It was good that I was forced to stay in Tehran for some time. In the meantime I learned to enjoy the city so much that I don’t really want to leave too soon.
I’ve encountered some real good people here (including family members) I can connect to really well.
And I was lucky with my timing to arrive. I experienced Ashura, the 28. Birthday of the Islamic Revolution (these being two of four major yearly events in Iran with the next one coming up in a month) and moreover my best friend had two weeks off just after I finished my first round of obligatory invitations… so we went on a trip.
I love this experience!
At the moment I experience three different worlds. One is my grandmother’s and the world of those who have lost a lot during the revolution… most of all their social status. It is interesting to see how different people around her coped with what had happened then. For her and her friends the revolution was a true trauma, as they had never expected a revolution to the “god-like” king.
Another world I experience is that of Iranian artists. This world is also really interesting as, of course, in a dictatorship artist usually live a life between conforming and rebelling.
And finally, I experience the world of two 20 year old students. This life is real fun. Well, college is supposed to be the best time of your life and these to guys really push it ;)
So over the last four weeks I had a lot of impressions. There are so many that I don’t find time to reflect.
My reflections are mostly on truth and perception, identity, social and cultural influences, socioeconomic and political developments, propaganda and manipulation here as well as in the West, religion, spirituality, human relationships and, of course, love.
So I hope to manage to find the opportunity to share at least a bit of that…