Note: The information presented in this section of the Maine Diversity Manual may be
general. Although Muslim is the main religion of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it does not
mean that every Iranian or every Muslim believes or practices these beliefs or customs.
I. Description of Culture
As of July 1997, the total population was 67,540,002
From a September 2003 census study, there were only 228
Iranian residents living in Maine.
B. Brief History
The Persian Empire, from 559-334 B.C., was said to be the
greatest legacy: “demonstrated for the first time how diverse
peoples can culturally flourish and economically prosper under
one central government.”
Mohammed moves from Mecca to Medina in 622 marking the
birth of Islamic civilization and the start of all Islamic calendars
In 1979, after 2500 years of being ruled by a democratic
government, the Revolution occurs. Iran adopts a theocratic
government and becomes the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Main diet is rice and bread.
Strict Muslims only eat “halal” meat, which is meat prepared
according to Islamic law. Pork products are not eaten and a few
seafoods are not allowed.
Water is usually drunk with every meal.
Consummation of alcoholic beverages is illegal due to religious
Gracious hospitality is part of the character of the Iranian people,
and a characteristic as old as history itself.
When eating in a private home or in a mosque (religious
institution), the best food is saved to be served to the guests.
According to Islamic and social beliefs:
o Men are advised not to wear short sleeve shirts and short
pants are firmly prohibited.
o Women are to cover themselves except their face, hands
and toes at all times.
In their homes, people wear what they please.
In the U.S. some Iranians adopt a combination of traditional and
Official language of government and...