The Gifted Blog

April 6, 2011

Giving and Receiving in Iran

I kind of like folding laundry, and I like it even more when I'm listening to This American Life. This morning I listened to an episode titled Oh, You Shouldn't Have:
"Stories about the perils of giving and receiving gifts: Ones that go over spectacularly well in spite of being in poor taste, and ones that flop even with the best intentions. Including what happens when—surprise!—your whole past gets laid out for a live TV audience."

Entertaining and thought-provoking as usual. Since some of you have asked about gift-giving customs in other countries, I wanted to recommend the 3rd act in particular. In it, an Iranian-American tells her stories about Tarof, a custom that influences all giving and receiving in Iranian culture - even the simple act of offering a guest a piece of fruit.

Whether you're folding laundry or not, tune in here (look for the 'Play Episode' button). The whole show is great, but you can skip straight to 34:10 to learn more about the art of giving and receiving in Iran.

Have you recently experienced another culture's way of giving or receiving?

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{Image by Håkan Dahlström}

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