Iranians in the UK Still Prefer Dating in Their Own Culture
In the year 2017, The ONS estimated the Iranian-born population in the UK to be around 70,000 people. Considering how small the UK is, this is a fairly high number. However, it enables Iranian immigrants to still get a taste of home through the familiar people and places that surround them in a vastly diverse country.
While an increasing number of Iranians have converted to other religions, many still stay true to the religious and cultural norms they were brought up around. This extends to the way they approach their relationship life. Religious families have their own set of rules and ideas when it comes to dating and marriage.
Being in the UK, Iranians are surrounded by a sea of different people with their own cultural and religious beliefs. This greatly increases the amount of ways they can approach relationships. Yet, most Iranians in the UK prefer to date within their own culture.
While this approach is more prominent back home, many Iranian parents in the UK prefer to be the decision makers when it comes to their children’s relationships. A “traditional” family will organise a custom called Khastegari. This is how their son or daughter will meet their partner for the first time.
Families will meet and the children will be allowed 4-5 hours of conversation time to get to know each other. If all goes well, the Namzadi period will begin, in which the couple is considered officially in a relationship. In this period, the couple will either move on to marriage or call it quits.
Of course, in this case, such instances will only happen between two people from the same culture.
Many Iranian families are also content with a less formal and more “open-minded” approach to the way their children date. In a modern family, parents will allow their children to go out and find a partner in whichever way they please. Customs like those explained above are still present, but only occur after the relationship makes progress.
Many Iranians today belong to this second category. However, it seems that even with the open approach to relationships and sexuallity, where people can choose to settle with partners from other cultures, the majority of Iranians still prefer to date within their own culture.
There’s likely a number of reasons as to why this is the case. It may come down to religious beliefs and stories, obligations set by parents or simply personal preference. Regardless, Iranians in the UK are lucky enough to have more than enough fish in the sea to choose from. Websites like Shahvaniشهوانی offer fellow Iranians the opportunity to connect with each other online without the fear of being monitored and arrested by the Iranian Authorities.
Parts of modern life like this make it easy for people from the same culture to connect in a culturally diverse place like the UK. Do you believe that it’s necessary to only date people within your culture? Let us know in the comments.