Hijab in Iran | What to Wear
One of the main concerns of some foreign tourists traveling to Iran is the issue of Hijab, clothing and safety. Unlike the public perception and the negative publicity about Iran’s safety or the government agents’ behavior toward tourists and people, Iran is a very safe country and you can experience a journey full of peace and safety in the most parts of the country.
According to the discovered inscriptions and carvings and statues of antiquity, the issue of clothing has always been a concern in all parts of the world since ancient times. Iran, as one of the main world powers, has not been excluded. This clothing consists of three parts: head clothing, torso clothing and legs clothing.
In all Iranian dynasties from the Achaemenid period (2500 years ago) to the Qajar era (150 years ago) [BC, AD and after Islam] this clothing was observed. In the Sassanid era (1500 years ago) the clothing became complete by declaring Zoroastrianism as the country’s official religion. After the advent of Islam in Iran over 400 years ago, the majority of the Iranian people turned to Islam. In Islamic law, the clothing must be completely observed, especially for women. It is recommended in Islam to wear clothing that completely covers their body and hair. Between Abbasid Caliphate (1250 years ago) and Pahlavi Era (40 years ago) women also wore Niqab. Anti-Hijab issue was raised in the middle of the Qajar period and In Pahlavi Era (19th and 20th Century), Iran was influenced by Western culture and clothing, which completely changed the way men and women dressed. Almost the majority of women were without a headscarf and full clothing. During the Islamic revolution (40 years ago) and the governance of the Islamic Republic, the Hijab was optional . However, by adopting a new law based on Islam, the women must wear Islamic clothing and cover their head, body and legs to be present in the society.
Tourists affected by negative propaganda against Iran, consider Hijab only as black veils. They think of Iran as an isolated and restricted society and they are frightened. While women work, study and have their daily activities along men and the Hijab has not restricted them.
*Currently in the streets and public places of Iran, especially in big cities you can see both women dressed up with fashionable clothes in cheerful colors and makeup on their faces and women with complete Hijab. They are free to wear what they like (within the framework of the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran) and there is no force to wear a certain clothing. Tourists considers Hijab only as black and long veils and when they travel to Iran, they face a world of fashion and they get surprised. Women and young ladies with make up in their face and fashionable clothes remind them of European street style and fashion shows.
Iran is a rich country in clothing and local customs . In every part of the country, there are a variety of costumes with special and attractive designs and ornaments . They all are in bright and light colors and seldom in black and dark. Trying folk clothing is very interesting. Folks such as Qashqai tribe, Bakhtiari tribe, Baluch, Gilaki that are unique and spectacular. All of them have some velvet hats, colored veils and bright head scarves and also long skirts and long-sleeve blouses.
You as a tourist can wear casual and comfortable dress that cover your hands and legs or wear a hat or scarf to cover your hair. You can safely, easily, comfortably and without any trouble visit all places and people of Iran will welcome you by a smile. All tourists traveling to Iran are happy with their amazing travel experiences and their image of Iran will completely change and many of them are willing to travel to Iran again.
* Written by Sooshia Shamsaei.