[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]
"...in Iran a guest is accorded the highest status, the sweetest piece of fruit, the most comfortable place to sit. It's part of a complex system of ritual politeness--taarof--that governs the subtext of life here. Hospitality, courting, family affairs, political negotiations; taarof is the unwritten code for how people should treat each other. The word has an Arabic root, arafa, meaning to know or acquire knowledge of. But the idea of taarof ... is Persian in origin ... described as "fighting for the lower hand," but in an exquisitely elegant way, making it possible, in a hierarchical society like Iran's, "for people to paradoxically deal with each other as equals.""
Posted by Daniel on 07.20.2008
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