A Greek cultural expert has praised Iran’s mosaic culture as “exceptional”, saying the country’s highly diverse culture could strongly appeal to any foreigner visiting Iran.
Katerina Balamoti, the representative of Hellenic Foundation for Culture in Iran, made the statement in a recent interview with IRNA.
Following is an excerpt of the interview:
Could you please explain about your cultural activities in Iran?
Greece and Iran, as two poles of science in ancient times, have been friends for a long time and cultural relations between the two countries are of utmost importance.
Our foundation aims to act as a bridge between the cultures of Iran and Greece. We like to introduce Iran’s culture to the world.
As part of our efforts, we inked an agreement to boost cooperation between Fajr Theatre Festival and Athens Theatre Festival.
What’s your view about Iran’s culture?
There is an exceptional cultural mosaic in Iran, which has obvious attractions.
Have long have you been to Iran and which cities have you visited so far?
I’ve been living in Iran for two and a half years and I’ve seen Kashan, Isfahan, Chalus, Ardabil, Astara, Tabriz and northern Iran.
Considering the fact that Greece’s climate is similar to northern Iran, I think Iran’s desert areas should have been more attractive for you?
Yes. Greece’s weather is similar to northern Iran. As you said, the most attractive parts of Iran were desert areas and visiting them was a different experience for me. We have no camels in Greece and it was nice for me to see a big camel eating from my hand.
Which parts of Iran do you recommend your compatriots to visit?
I will tell them to visit not just a part of Iran but the whole of it. The fascinating point about Iran is that this is a country made of dozens of different cultures and geographies.
Tehran is a modern city. Isfahan and Yazd are near desert. Northern Iran has tropical jungles that remind people of Thailand. In southern Iran we have islands that are great for having fun.
I’m of the opinion that Greek people willing to visit Iran should at least spend 10 to 15 days Iran so they can see part of the country’s beauties.
What’s your take on Iranian handicrafts?
Isfahan’s enamelled handicrafts were amazing and Zanjan’s metal embossing and silverwork were interesting. But fabulous carpets were something else.
What about Iranian foods?
I’m really into Tah Chin Shirazi and Khoresh-e Fesenjan.