Thought Short Report: Body as a means of non-verbal communication in Iran

  • S Shahshahani


Bodies move, and they express. There is a body language, and there is a language employed to refer to body, its parts and the states of its being in all cultures. Consciously and unconsciously people judge each other according to body and clothing behavior. What one thinks one expresses, is not necessarily how one is seen and judged. The meaning of self, body, gesture and behavior are culture specific. The limits of culture are time dependent and its borders are more and more porous. In my paper on the Iranian body, I shall concentrate on the non-verbal communication through the body. First various meanings of the self are considered and then gender specific behavior in the public domain is discussed. I shall argue that in the nonverbal public domain, the most "eloquent" expressions are not those of clothing, gesture or behavior, but those of the eyes, the doors toward one's inner self and feelings. As we pass the threshold from the public into the private domain, from the street into the house, we first encounter the formal private domain, and then the dance world. Although this world requires some degree of informality and intimacy, it nonetheless has its specific regulations and boundaries, preventing it from becoming totally informal or chaotic. In a country where many layers of culture lie in every word and act, it is definitely not sufficient to attend to the words, it is essential to search in the non-verbal to get a more holistic view of intended meaning.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1737-8176
print ISSN: 1737-7374