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"Unacceptable Behaviour"
Photo essay: New Zealand


April 12, 2007

These days there is hardly a place left on the globe that Iranian diaspora have not set foot on. New Zealand is another place that Iranians either as refugees or migrants have come to live. According to the New Zealand 2001 census there are 2157 Iranians living in that country. "Between 1988 and 2004 just over 500 Iranians came to New Zealand as refugees, including a small number of Bahais who came to escape religious persecution. Other Iranians have come under the general skills immigration category."

. . .

. . .

New Zealand has issued a general guideline introducing some of the tradition and customs of her recent ethnic migrants to the general population. For Iranians, under the "Unacceptable Behaviour" it says:

* One should avoid saying 'no' outright.
* Men and women do not show affection in public, but people of the same gender may do so.
* The soles of the feet should not be pointed at another person, and feet should not be rested on a table or desk.
* Crossing one's legs is unacceptable, as is slouching and stretching one's legs out in a group.
* Extending the thumb/Blowing one's nose in public is offensive.
* Putting a used handkerchief in one's pocket is frowned upon.

If I had written that report I would have added a few myself, for example:

* Subscribe to conspiracy theory. In this way you make them feel blameless for their actions and everything becomes someone else's fault. They will also look at you as someone with great insights into the world affairs.

* Never get involved in group activity cultural or political. Because you will never meet your objectives instead you end up making a lot of enemies.

* Be a hypocrite, say something that you don't really mean. In Persian there is even an acceptable term for it. They call it ta'orf. Make sure you smile when you say it. For example if you don't want someone to come to your house, you have to say, please come in. Say it a few times with a pleading tone of voice which means that you really don't want them to enter.

* Iranians are generally Moslems. That's why they don't drink beer. But for some mysterious reason they love sprites, Whisky, Vodka or anything with a high level of alcohol.

* Opium has a very specially place in the Iranian culture. So make sure that you never say anything bad about it. Comment

For letters section
Farid Parsa

Farid Parsa



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