Iranian Folk Tales and Culture

The world’s beauty lies in its pluralism: it has a lot to do with cultural and traditional differences. Meanwhile, it seems ironic that the liberal idea of mutual respect of cultures is not appreciated globally. At the same time, tales are an excellent source of knowledge for the ones seeking an understanding of a different culture and local values. Speaking of Iran, Persians seem to have strong traditionalist familial values, and that is why a family frequently becomes an important element of the tales’ plots.

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To begin with, in the Persian culture, a family is one of the essential parts of any individual’s life, and, thus, its will is absolute. This idea is demonstrated by “The Story of the Wolf-Bride” as its protagonist dies because of his father’s will to marry the woman who turned out to be a wolf. This concept of arranged marriage can be seen as a translation of the traditionalist familial value. The main character does not argue about this procurement, as he understands how much his father has given him, which proves the family’s authority in the culture (“The Story of the Wolf-Bride”, par. 5).

Another tale to mention is “The City of Nothing-in-the-World”: the main character does not dare to disobey her aunt’s advice despite all the challenges she has to go through. As Iranians value elder relatives’ authority, the tale shows that the girl realizes that her aunt knows better (“The City of Nothing-in-the-World”, par. 4). At the same time, the aunt’s behavior can be explained by the family values, too, as her incentive is to help her suffering niece. Thus, a family is the highest source of authority in Iranian culture.

Moreover, Iranian tales demonstrate that a family is an ultimate incentive to go through any challenges posed by life in this tradition. For instance, in “The Wolf and the Goat,” the mother appears to be prepared for a bloody fight for her children. The plot literally demonstrates that a mother is ready to give up her life in order to save her children. It is evident that not only the mother cannot imagine her life without the little goats, but she cares about them a lot. This simple metaphor convinces its readers – initially, Iranian youngsters – on the strength of parents and their children’s relations.

Seeking another example, one may draw their attention to “The Hemp Smoker’s Dream”: the protagonist’s primary goal is to get married to a princess. In other words, the moment he gains confidence, he starts seeking familial happiness. It demonstrates the understanding of family as the highest priority worthy of eating seventy pots of ash and traveling from East to West (“The Hemp-Smoker’s Dream”, par. 13). Hence, Iranian tales tend to seek protagonists’ motivation in family values.

To conclude, the pluralism of the world cultures makes it captivating to explore diverse heritage. Folk tales serve as socialization institutes: they are created to translate the fundamental values to children in any culture. Thus, it is fair to make assumptions on a local culture according to such a cultural phenomenon. Iranian folk tales translate the familial values highly respected in Persian culture, and there are various dimensions of this tradition. On the one hand, some pieces such as “The Story of the Wolf-Bride” and “The City of Nothing-in-the-World” show family as an absolute authority, the will of which is considered undeniable. On the other hand, tales like “The Wolf and the Goat” or, for instance, “The Hemp-Smoker’s Dream” demonstrate that a family is a top priority for the carriers of Iranian culture.

Works Cited

“The City of Nothing-in-the-World”. Mythology and Folklore UN-Textbook, Accessed 5 Nov. 2020.

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“The Hemp Smoker’s Dream”. Mythology and Folklore UN-Textbook, Accessed 5 Nov. 2020.

“The Story of the Wolf-Bride”. Mythology and Folklore UN-Textbook, Accessed 5 Nov. 2020.

“The Wolf and the Goat”. Mythology and Folklore UN-Textbook,

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1. StudyCorgi. "Iranian Folk Tales and Culture." December 8, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "Iranian Folk Tales and Culture." December 8, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Iranian Folk Tales and Culture." December 8, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Iranian Folk Tales and Culture'. 8 December.

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