This time of year in Iran there is a saying, due to the incredibly fluctuating weather, and that is “Winter and Spring are fighting (جنگ بین زمستان و بهار )”–so my husband tells me. Winter is on its way out, taking with it all the snow and cold; Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, which invites in the spring season is just around the river bend. While winter may be stubbornly ‘duking it out’ with spring, people come out to reap the benefits of the seasonal squabble: the hard-working people who sell their merchandise all over Iran at provincial exhibitions.
I attended two very different, exciting exhibitions over the past few weeks, and I believe it’s necessary to share a little information about them in support of Iran’s push for “Economical Resistance.” An “Economy of Resistance,” in other words, is made up of a self-sustaining society where the creative abilities of the people can emerge as a result of self-reliance; most importantly, a resilient economy relies upon the people, and the people rely on it to keep both variables thriving. Some of these exhibitions are solely made up of booths, sometimes beyond 400 at one center, with handmade materials and products from all over Iran. They exhibit the handiwork and skills of people–if authenticity is what you are looking to find. Occasionally, you will cross imported products, mostly clothing from countries like India, China, Russia, and Turkey.
The two exhibitions that I gladly attended and spent days at to get to know the merchants and see my friends, from attending the events in previous years, were Iran’s Annual Flower Exhibition and Iran’s Annual Spring Exhibition ( نمایشگاه گل و گیاه ). I’ll share info on the spring exhibition first since it is an ongoing event for several more days in Golestan Province of Iran and perhaps several more weeks in other provinces. Mainly, I have posted photos, later on possible videos, of items sold at the exhibition center and their prices. Think of this blog post as a sort of price guide for those shopping in Iran. Just to mention, prices for these items will be much higher outside of Iran, we are lucky to get them for the prices listed.
Furthermore, the spring exhibition, in my opinion, is the best way to shop for domestically made Iranian products. The dealers, at the spring exhibition, are given price guidelines, overseen by a specific sector of the Iranian government to make sure everyone gets the best deal. The prices are reasonable enough so items do sell and the people make a fair profit for their goods. You can be sure that you’re getting the best deal possible, especially if you are a tourist and do not have expertise on standard prices in Iran. If you want to dodge the questions: “Am I getting a fair bargain?” or “Does that price seem good for the quality?”–you can forget about those things here. It’s all worth it. I recommend these exhibitions for tourist, business-oriented people looking to expand their horizons, and, of course, anyone who cares to support the everyday, hardworking people of Iran and production of their domestic and handmade goods.
Below are some examples of items we purchased tonight with added prices.
Now for the other beauties that I did not purchase but would so like to own some day 🙂
Below, you see my husband and a dealer discussing the quality and price of tapestry. These “Bohemian” style tapestries, which can be hung on walls or used on tables or for Nowruz Haft Seens (Traditional décor for Persian New year), were of the few imported items; the material is bought from India, but the tapestry is actually made in Iran. India is known for is great textile industry and Iran imports much of its textiles from that industry. I wanted all of them, lol, but did not get one; even I have to resist from buying everything I see.
The Copper dealers from Zanjan and some of their goods: Copper-ware, the best of it can be found in Iran. If maintained it will last decades, you can pass them down to your children, this is probably something any home can benefit from greatly.
For now, this is all I have on the spring exhibition. There is much more to see, you should catch one in person. I might be attending this till it’s moved on, and that means more photos to come later… #TheIranIKnow