Raziye ist 25 und studiert in der iranischen Hauptstadt Teheran Illustration. Derzeit arbeitet sie an ihrem Master, hat allerdings bereits einen BA in Englischer Literatur.
Ihre Heimatstadt ist nicht Teheran, sondern Esfahan, eine – wie sie betont – historische und wunderschöne Stadt. In ihrer Kindheit ist sie im Süden des Landes aufgewachsen.
Wollt ihr mehr über sie und ihr Leben als junge Frau im Iran erfahren? Dann lest das Interview, in dem sie sehr offene Antworten gibt.
“If you had lived somewhere else, too: What would you say are the main differences between these places?”
Well I’ve never lived overseas but I’ve been in different areas of my own country. The south which is close to some Arabian countries and the Persian Gulf is really hot but so are the people! They’re really warm, welcoming and energetic. Tehran where I currently live is a very modern and also too crowded city, with high skyscrapers, terrible traffic and a polluted atmosphere but I still like it, the city feels alive and I get to visit several galleries and artists as an art student.
“Tell us a bit about the city where you live. What is it like to live there? What makes it special?”
Esfahan is located in the center of Iran; it has been the capital of the Safavid dynasty during the 17th and 18th century and still bears their legacy, they were one of the strongest ruling dynasties of Iran and had a very magnificent art which is being practiced till now by traditional artists, so the city attracts a lot of tourists and there are a lot of beautiful historical sites to visit, the unique Islamic architecture and art in its summit, colorful intricate patterns on walls and pots and many other things, it really is worth a visit.
“What do you like most about your country?”
Well contrary to what you might think, Iran is a very safe place and people do care about each other, they’re very hospitable and warm. I also enjoy the almost free education and medical services (it’s not free for everyone though but still). The traditional, eastern atmosphere and art also is appealing if you’re into it.
“And what are the things you don’t like about your country?”
Well to be honest I think Iran today is not in it’s best condition, it’s a country with a marvelous history but after the Islamic revolution about 30 years ago, many things have changed, although we’ve had so much progress in different areas but there are still many problems. I’m a bit disappointed with the religious regime and some of their bull*hit like compulsory Hijab but people have changed it to fit their liking and culture. There are also some clichéd features between my folk that I can’t stand, like how they make fun of everything and don’t take responsibility, or some aspects of the traditional behaviors and attitudes.
“Would you like to live somewhere else? If yes, where? And why? If no, why not?”
Since my childhood I’d always dream of living in other countries, I love to see Europe, America and eastern Asia, especially Japan since it’s culture really interests me. I’m very interested in learning new languages, and getting to know new cultures by them. As I said, I studied English in university and got to familiarize with some of Europe and America’s history and literature and it has been so much fun. I believe it would be great to visit all these places I’ve read about and seen in the pictures, movies but it might be hard for me because of the current economical difficulties of Iran. Also I don’t know how the people would see me as a middle eastern with all the bad things that have happened lately and all the stereotypes, so I might get a bit lonely I guess! But nevertheless I’d love to visit and live/work/study abroad; I think it’d be a great experience , also it gives me the opportunity to be more free and independent, both because there is no religious *hit and also no familiar culture, people, and no family!
“What should someone who visits your country do and see?”
They should check out the different historical sites all over Iran, and the different natural scenery like the beautiful jungles and the Caspian Sea of the north also the bazaar and daily life of people, Iranian usually love tourists and foreigners and are willing to connect with them or help them out if necessary.
“And what should they definitely not do?”
I think it’s not bad if u get to know about *Taarof*, it’s very complicated to grasp even for myself! It’s a way of being courtesy, people would tell flattering stuff to each other that they might not really mean, for example they would offer you their food or ask you to come over very passionately but you should be sensible enough to refuse the offer politely because u don’t want to trouble them and only accept if they insist too much and u would somehow realize that they really mean it! It might sound like hypocrisy but well, people here tend not to be very direct about things. It has many different aspects and levels but visitors need not to worry since people realize that they are actually foreigners!
“What are your favourite meals of your traditional cuisine?”
Ghorme sabzi, Juje kebab,Chelo kebab, Dizi, Khoresh gheyme, kashk bademjan, etc
They should be hard to pronounce for u but you can find all these very easily in the streets here.
“And how about drinks? What drinks should we try when we visit your country?”
Well there is *Doogh* that people drink with their meals; it’s made of yoghurt/milk and has a sore taste. Also there are many herbal traditional drinks to taste.
“How do you get around in your country? Do people use public transport or do they prefer not to? Why?”
Yes they pretty much use public transportation: taxi, bus, BRT and subway (subway only exists in Tehran for now)
“Which artists of your country should we check out? (authors, musicians, painters…)”
Iran has many great poets, among them: Hafiz, Khayyam, Ferdowsi and many more. The traditional music is very unique, it’s master being: *Shajarian*. If you’re interested in traditional paintings, you can check out the Miniature works.
“What does your ordinary day look like? Do you think it’s a typical everyday’s life for people in your country?”
Yes I think I have a typical lifestyle, well Iran has a young population and the majority of the youth are students so we usually live with our families, go to school/university, visit our relatives and hang out with our friends in parks, restaurants or shops. Although I’m kind of a loner and tend to stay indoors a lot and read, paint, surf the internet, chat or watch anime! But I love the university and visiting art galleries or museums.
“If not: How would you say *is* a typical everday’s life at your place?”
I explained above, also: watching TV, wasting a lot of time with our cell phones, going to school, study, have meals with the family and secretly dating our partners since some parents might still not be able to accept the relationships outside of marriage haha 😀
“What’s the best season for visiting your country? Why?”
I think spring, the weather’s great around that time and there’s a happy, energetic atmosphere because of the Persian New Year and all it’s festivities.
“Tell us something about traditional activities, festivals or holidays in your area. Which do you enjoy most? How do you celebrate them?”
There are a lot of them, I’ll mention a few: Our new year that I mentioned above is my favorite; it’s called: *Norooz* which means: new day. It starts with the beginning of spring in Persian calendar (about March 20) and goes on for 13 days. We organize a special table or a cloth with certain items on it (sth like the Christmas tree): among them 7 certain items that start with the letter ‚S‘, so it’s called: „haft sin“ means: 7 S! There is also „Yalda“, the longest night of the year just before winter. „chaar shanbe suri“: the last Wednesday of the year and it’s bonfires. Also the religious festivals like „Moharram“.
“Where would you like to travel in your life? Why?”
First of all I’d like to see more of my own country, I know there’s a lot that I still haven’t seen for myself, also as I said earlier I’d like to see Japan, and hopefully some of European countries. I’d love to see and get to know new people and their culture from up close, that’s the whole point of traveling to me!
“Most of my readers are from Germany and Austria. What comes to your mind when you think about these countries? Are there any stereotypes about Germans or Austrians in your country?”
Well I’ve heard Germans are kind of strict and disciplined and maybe a bit cold but that’s the reason to their success! When I think about Germany and Austria, suddenly the anime series „Hetalia“ comes to my mind: the masculine, strong but kind Germany and the noble, strict Austria with his piano! There also are some images of frost and potato in my head 😀 but I know some German friends online like Ilona here and I love them and think they’re really nice and love to know you guys and your country more.
“What do you think: Which stereotypes exist about your country and its people? Are they correct – at least partly – or not?”
I don’t know what you have heard about Iran, there’s no war going on in here, no Isis! People are friendly; we don’t witness much violence or horrible crimes so often. Iranians are not Arabs and Persian is an Indo-European language and except for the writing system and some loan words has nothing to do with Arabic. The women are not as oppressed as some might think and they don’t cover their faces duh! There’s not much deserts, they exist in a few areas but I haven’t visited any myself! The weather is quite normal where I live and it’s really cold right now! So basically the Middle East stereotypes I guess!
“If you could change one thing about the place where you live, what would it be?”
Just no religion and tradition for me, I mean they can be beautiful and interesting but they shouldn’t pressure you.
“Your dreams for the future?”
Being able to produce my own art, maybe make some picture books and also being able to visit different countries and hopefully feeling more confident and less lonely. I hope u guys the best and wish to see u human folks someday 😉
Die Idee hinter diesen Interviews:
Wir reden und schreiben so viel über die Länder dieser Welt und auch über die Menschen, die darin leben. Die Einblicke, die wir als Reisende in diese Länder bekommen, sind doch immer nur kurze neugierige Blicke von außen. Blicke durch ein Schlüsselloch quasi.
Statt über die Menschen zu schreiben, so dachte ich mir, sollten wir sie doch einfach einmal selbst fragen. Gerade in den heutigen Zeiten, in denen Menschen ferner Länder doch meist nur einen Klick entfernt sind, ja, wir mit ihnen sogar häufig in sozialen Netzwerken befreundet sind.
Deshalb starte ich diese neue kleine Serie, in der ich Facebook- und Brieffreunde, die ich in aller Herren Länder habe, einfach eine Reihe Fragen stelle und mich neugierig darauf einlasse, was sie dazu zu sagen haben. Auch dies wird ein Blick von außen durch das Schlüsselloch bleiben – aber vielleicht vergrößert sich das Schlüsselloch doch ein bisschen?
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