Este artigo sobre as características especiais da etiqueta persa leva-me a concluir que os iranianos que querem vir para a Europa deviam escolher Portugal em vez da Alemanha. Só em Portugal conheço esse hábito de dizer várias vezes que não antes de dizer que sim. Na Alemanha, se disserem uma vez que não, enfim, coitados.
“Befarmaeed,” said Fatimeh with an imperative hand gesture that commanded me to eat more.
I joined my impeccable Iranian hostess, her mother, two daughters and
son for dinner, served on the floor over a perfectly imperfect Persian
carpet, I felt ready to put my basic taarof skills into practice for the first time. I desperately wanted some more of the mouth-watering sabzi polo mahi (a herbed rice dish served with fish) but, before saying yes, I knew I had to convincingly say a few noes.
had never heard of taarof until I travelled in Iran. This Persian word
with Arabic roots defines the country’s complex art of etiquette, in
which the true meaning of what is said is not in the words, but
somewhere beyond them. It’s a subtle dance of communication, where
participants step back and forth over and over, never taking over the
In the world of taarof, politeness holds the place of honour. In its
name, people refuse when they want to accept, say what is not meant,
express what is not felt, invite when it is not intended, replace bad
news with false hope. By doing so, they try to say what they “wished it
were” – without ever admitting that it isn’t.
Once I paid a Tehran
taxi driver 250,000 rials for the ride, a fare we had previously agreed
on after a hard-fought negotiation. Oddly, the money was refused.
“Ghabel nadare,” he said smiling, indicating that he wouldn’t accept it.
my head, I insisted. Again he protested. Giving up, I thanked him in
Farsi and left the vehicle with a grin on my face. “All is well,” I
“He was taarofing,” my friend
Reza later explained. “Of course he expected you to pay. And you should
have insisted more. The driver was showing his respect for you. There is
an unwritten rule of two or three rounds of offering and refusing in
taarof. Once this ritual is performed, you can say what you want without
being [considered] rude. Politeness first, but in the end you always
Onde é que já vi isto?
- quer um copo de água?
- não, obrigada. (eu a morrer de sede)
- mas veja lá...
- não quero incomodar
- não incomoda nada
- não é preciso, deixe estar
- dou-lhe com todo o gosto!
- é que não quero dar trabalho
- ora essa, não dá trabalho nenhum
- sendo assim... (eu já a desfalecer de desidratação)
- aqui está
- muito obrigada! não era preciso estar a incomodar-se!
Vale muito a pena ler todo o artigo, aqui. Um pouco mais à frente acrescenta que "in every social interaction, from buying groceries to negotiating a nuclear deal, this highly valued behaviour dictates how people should treat each other. While the concept is generally positive, showing mutual deference, it
can be manipulative when used improperly, when someone tries to benefit
from the generosity of another. Such behaviour is seen as negative in
Iranian society, as it masks arrogance rather than expresses humility.
“One key concept in taarof is a function that I have described as ‘getting the lower hand’,” said William O Beeman,
professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota and a Middle
East specialist. “Individuals will seek to raise the other person's
status, and lower their own”.
Paradoxically, he explained, in a hierarchical society such as Iran,
where favours and services can be interpreted according to the stratum
of the provider, this behaviour “produces social stability, because when
both persons are doing this, they achieve equality”."
Sendo assim, algo me diz que aquelas conversações sobre a energia nuclear iraniana deviam ser conduzidas por uma portuguesa bem educada, da velha escola, e não por alemães e americanos. Just saying.