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Taarof
« on: October 12, 2014, 01:22:59 PM »
Taarof is the Iranian practice of performing a gesture of respect and deference, although it is generally understood that such a gesture should be refused. For example, in some establishments, it is considered polite for the shopkeeper to refuse payment from a customer of a higher social rank. The customer understands, however, that the proper response is to insist upon paying. The shopkeeper may refuse payment several times before allowing the customer to convince him to accept. This practice can be very confusing to hapless foreign shoppers.

Taarof may also extend to social invitations. It is understood in Iranian culture that an invitation to one’s home, no matter how enthusiastic, is a mere formality. Should the invitee accept, they may inadvertently put their host (who may not have wanted them in their house at all) in a very awkward position. -- http://listverse.com/


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