Art And Culture

Bahrami’s Book ‘Silent Bathhouses’ Released

The historical ‘Bolour’ bathhouse in QazvinThe historical ‘Bolour’ bathhouse in Qazvin

In her latest work, Iranian anthropologist and author Fereshteh Bahrami explores the historical bathhouses of Qazvin, capital of the northwest Qazvin Province.

The 300-page book titled ‘Silent Bathhouses,’ was recently released by Aamout Publication based in Tehran. It is mainly on what local people believe or think about old bathhouses in Qazvin, Mehr News Agency reported.

Bahrami visited the old bathhouses lying dormant in the historical fabric of Qazvin, also known as the calligraphy capital of Iran, to write her book. The focus of her research was on human elements and aspects. She starts the book with a brief description on spatial divisions of the traditional bathhouses. Then she discusses the human elements and elaborates on the professions previously found in and around each major bathhouse.

The book describes how bathhouses changed shifts for men and women alternately in a 24-hour cycle. The rules and customs observed at bathhouses and associated traditions and rituals constitute another part of the book.

Bahrami spices up her work with a bit of supernatural elements. The book includes accounts of encounters with ‘jinns’ (in Islamic mythology an intelligent spirit of lower rank than the angels, able to appear in human and animal forms and to possess humans) which are believed by many to be haunting old, dark and humid places.

A total of 20 bathhouses in a number of historical neighborhoods in Qazvin have been picked up for the work. Some people, who used to be regulars at the bathhouses, have also been interviewed by Bahrami. Their memories are recorded in the book along with relevant historical sources and documents.

Bahrami’s previous anthropological book was the ‘Blessed’ (in Persian: Nazar-Kardeh). Released also by Aamout Publication, the book is the result of research on 18 shrines in the famous Alamut region near Qazvin.


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