Sunday, March 22, 2009

To each sex its own door hammer!

I originally wrote this entry on August 10, 2004 and published it on

Proper greetings require prior identification of the person one greets before one opens the door for the purpose of greeting that person.

Electronics has solved this problem for apartment buildings. Curtains and little spying eye pieces on doors have done the same for detached homes. In some cases, when the detached home has a fence or a wall surrounding it, people may resort to electronics instead.

Matters stood differently when people lived quieter, more meditative lives.

To the left, you can see a picture of the Boroujerdis' Mansion.

It was built about 200 years ago by a famous merchant of Kashan, Iran, named Haj Seyed Jaefar Boroujerdi and bears great importance in view of its architectural style and paintings. The frescoes of this mansion were painted by Sani-ol-Molk Ghaffari Kashani (founder of a painting school in Iran) and the great Kamal-ol-Molk, the miniaturist.

There are scores of these mansions in Kashan, many of them under repair and maintenance work.

Women knocked on this door as they entered the Boroujerdis' mansion.

. . . and men on this one . . .

The two different door hammers make different sounds to inform the residents of the house so that appropriate welcome could be given and received.

I distinctly remember our ancestral home in Ardabil, where I visited during the summers until I was 12 or 13. It had exactly the same two-hammer door panels, one for the ladies and one for the gentlemen. That ancestral home was sold when I came to the U.S. I visited it last summer. On the land, where the old house once stood, a monsterous (to me, not the builder) modern building had been erected. It was the 3rd house on the same land since its sale 25 years ago.

One of the surviving side doors of the Boroujerdis' mansion has the same two-door, ladies' and gentlemen's sides.

Negin, my daughter, hammers on the ladies' side of yet another door in Kashan.

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