Skip to main content

Table Manners in Iran

lunch table in our house, summer 2013
The phrase table manners always reminds me of my English self-study books and the units about food and how we should behave while eating at a table. I must say Iranian table manners are very much like British table manners.

Like most cultures it's also bad in Iran if you talk with your mouth full, make noise, lick the plate and eat food with hands. If they're not bad in your country then I must say you're from a very different culture.

Anyway, here are some hints for you if you don't want to appear rude in front of Iranians at the table:

  1. When the food is being brought to the table wait till your host offers you to take food.
  2. It's very common over here for host to ask the guest to take food many times. This is for being polite, it doesn't literally mean you should sweep everything on the table and send down to your tummy!
  3. Please, please, please don't make slurping noise when you eat soup or any other liquid food. I've heard many Iranians complain some friends from South East Asia do that to show they've enjoyed it. That's disgusting in Iranian culture.
  4. Don't blow your nose when others are eating. In fact blowing your nose publicly is bad at any time over here.
  5. Iranians usually put a box of tissues on the table instead of table napkins. 
  6. If you want to take food more than once, you can do it without asking. It's acceptable over here.
  7. Iranians usually eat a lot at parties, so don't worry, no one will call you greedy if you've filled your plate with so much food.
  8. It's not bad to chat during dinner. I think being silent and just eating is a bit bad.
  9. In Iran people usually use spoons and forks for eating, not knives. If you want to cut meat simply put your fork in the meat and cut it with your spoon edge. 
  10. It's OK to eat your pizza with hands. I've never seen anyone using knives for eating pizza.
  11. Never complain about the food, that's really rude. My cousin says she made Kookoo Sabzi for a friend from a European country and he said a big YUCK to her face when he ate it!!!!!
  12. I've heard in some countries (I mean Muslims countries) it's bad to eat food with your left hand. Thank goodness it's not bad over here. I'm left-handed and no one ever said anything about that to me. I don't know what the heck should I do in those countries. Taking spoon with my right hand is so hard for me.
  13. After you finished eating say thank you to the host for their dinner. Don't wait till tomorrow to call them, we do it right after dinner.
That was the basics of Iranian table manners. But don't think too much about that, enjoy the food. This is what we do, we gather, laugh, eat a lot and enjoy the taste of the Iranian foods.


Arianaa30 said…
Hi there,
It's very nice to see an iranian, who is now in Iran, writing in a blog in english. hope you continue your writing...
Mercedé said…
Thanks, it was great to see an Iranian visitor on here!
Ariadni said…
Thank you for writing this comprehensive table manner manual!
I have been to Iranian houses for food and also to non-tourist restaurants, but I still haven't entirely figured out in which hand I hold my spoon (I am right-handed) and which my fork and which of the two actually "feeds" the mouth. From your text, I gather that the spoon is the feeding one? And the fork is used to assist in moving and arranging?
love from greece
Mercedé K said…
Thanks for visiting my blog.
You can hold your spoon/fork in any hands you wants, both are OK.
Yes the spoon is the one we use for eating mainly and cut food with forks.

Popular posts from this blog

Terms of Endearment in Persian Language

Terms of endearment are the words people say to show love and affection, like dear, honey, babe, etc. in English language. These are terms of endearment in Persian language. You can use them with your friends as well:

azizam: dear
eshgham: my love
khanoomi: missy
janam?: Yes? (used when someone calls your name and you want to answer)
jan: dear (used at the end of names like "Sonya jan" which means dear Sonya)
jigar: (very informal) sweetie
jigar-tala: (very informal) sweetie (tala means gold, funnily enough jigar means liver!)
khoshgel khanoom: pretty girl (please use it just for females you know, if it's said to strangers it has a bad meaning)
aziz-e delam: the dear of my heart
asal: honey (not very common but still you can use it)
doosetdaram: I like you
Asheghetam: I love you
divoonatam: I'm crazy about you
mikhamet: I want you
delam vasat tang shode: I miss you
miboosamet: I kiss you
boos: kiss

You can surprise your Iranian friends/sweethearts with these words. Have fun!

Queen Fawzia

Today I'd like to write about someone who wasn't Iranian but for sure had a role in Iran's history: Queen Fawzia.

If you ask me to name the most beautiful women in the world, one of them is certainly Fawzia Fauad.

Daughter of Malek Fauad, the Egyptian king, she was born in 4 November 1921 in Cairo, Egypt. Malek Faud's family were originally from Albania, and you can see that in their blue eyes and light hair.

Reza Shah, Iran's King at that time decided to choose a wife for his son Muhammad-Reza among Eastern princesses. From all those girls, Muhammad-Reza chose Fawzia.

Soon a Royal group from Iran with Muhammad-Reza Pahlavi left Iran to Egypt, for the courting ceremony and planning  the wedding. The young couple met there and a splendid feast was held.

After a few days Muhammad-Reza, Fawzia and a Egyptian royalty group including Fawzia's Mother and sisters arrived in Iran for the wedding ceremony. The ceremony was very magnificent according to the Life magazin…

Arash, Melody, and Two Little Ds

This is Arash, the Iranian singer in Sweden. He has got a famous song called Melody (but in my opinion not better than his song Dasa Bala, feat Aylar, et al). There is a blond baby at the end of the song in Arash' arms. Many people said Melody, the little girl at the end of the video is Arash' daughter.

My question at that time was if she's his daughter, why so blond? Had Arash married a Swedish girl? Then by little searches I understood, firstly Arash married just some months before the video and it's not possible to have a kid so soon (unless the bride was expecting a baby before the wedding which I'm sure wasn't the case!); secondly Arash married an Iranian girl and it's not possible for an Iranian couple to have such a white blond baby (if they had, ask some genealogists what had happened), thirdly Melody is his colleague's daughter, a Swedish man.

A few moments ago Arash updated on his facebook page he became a father, has twins called Donya and D…