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To best understand Iran, its related societies and its people, one must first attempt to acquire an understanding of its culture. It is in the study of this area where the Iranian identity optimally expresses itself.

Iranians were not only open to other cultures, but freely adapted to all they found useful. Thus an eclectic cultural elasticity has been said to be one of the key defining characteristics of the Persian spirit and a clue to its historic longevity. Furthermore, Iran's culture has manifested itself in several facets throughout the history of Iran as well as that of Central Asia.

The article uses the words Persian and Iranian interchangeably, sometimes referring to the language and its speakers, and other times referring to the name of pre-20th century Iran, a nomenclature which survives from western explorers and orientalists. Both are not the same however, and the cultures of the peoples of Greater Persia are the focus of this article.

Iranian culture is rich in cultural symbolism, much of which derives from prehistoric times. Iran is the only nation in the Middle East that uses the solar calendar. It is also the only nation on earth marking the advent of the New Year at the spring equinox.

The Islamic and the pre-Islamic world have both provided national symbols for Iran, and these have come in conflict in recent years. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the shah who was deposed in 1979, tried to make the twenty-five-hundred-year-old monarchy itself a central symbol of Iranian life. He designed a series of lavish public celebrations to cement this image in the public imagination. The ancient emblem for the nation was a lion holding a scimitar against a rising sun


References:

wikipedia

www.everyculture.com

 

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