April 15, 2021
Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”. For one thing, it helps if the child grows up in a place where art thrives.
The name of Shiraz has seldom been heard without a mention of culture and literature. Therefore, it is no surprise that the lives of Shirazi people have long been ingrained with the arts. Home to many accomplished artists, Shiraz is famous for nurturing the creative type.
When it comes to literature, Shiraz is perhaps the most well-known city in Iran. It is the hometown of the greatest poets of the Persian language: Hafez and Saadi. Shirazis’ love for poetry has led music to flourish, as many of the poems in the past were meant to be sung, accompanied by various musical instruments. This fascination with music continues to the present day, with many Shirazis having experienced playing at least one instrument in their lifetime. If you get the chance to join gatherings and parties alongside your Shirazi friends, there is a great chance one of them will play an instrument while the others sing along. There is even a particular type of folk ballad called Vassunak, which was usually sung by the women of Shiraz before giving away the bride.
In addition to music, architecture is among the many arts that has thrived in Shiraz. Visit any old neighborhood in Shiraz and you will definitely come across more than a few exquisite examples of traditional architecture in the city. However, this does not mean that Shiraz lacks exceptional examples of modern architecture. You can see the works of prominent architects such as Mohammad Jaafar Kashef and Mehrdad Iravanian all around the city, the most famous of which are
Handicrafts such as Khatam Kari, Ghalam Zani and Moaragh Kari have a special place among the people of Shiraz, a testemant to their being an old hand in the more traditional, delicate arts.
Sadly, theater and acting have not received as much attention in Shiraz. There are theaters in the city, but a lack of opportunities and proper facilities have led actors and playwrights to migrate to the capital for a chance of reaching a wider audience.
Shiraz is ripe with artistic talent and opportunity. From its many music schools, poetry reading sessions, accomplished and aspiring artists and relics that testify to this claim, it is easy to see why the city has earned the title of being the “Cradle of Arts and Culture” in Iran.