Long time ago, before invention of heaters or radiators, Iranians used a special furniture called Korsi. For new generation, Korsi is a big reminder of a warm cosy homey nights at grandma’ house and bring a big smile on faces.
Korsi is a 50 centimeter high-legged table with a heater underneath (either by coals or electrical heater), decorated with thick blankets overhanging on all sides to keep its occupants warm. A special woven rug called ru korsi (cloths for Korsi) is usually placed over any blankets to protect them from food stains.
In cold winters, family members sat on large cushions around it and put down their feet under blankets. From medicine part of view, Korsi is also beneficial for anemia. Lying the feet beneath Korsi improves the blood circulation and also, by getting the feet warm, the temperature goes to the upper part of body and makes a man feel warm as well.
Korsi is not just a piece of furniture for Iranians. It plays a big role in Iranian culture as well. It was a big driving force for family gathering and fun time, when there was no TV or social media. Family members spent good quality time together, siblings helped each other with homework, grandparents told the story of themselves to kids and at nights, all family members slept all together around Korsi. For Iranians, Korsi is a birthplace of love and solidarity within family to overcome the cold long dark nights in winter. Korsi and the pleasant warm time is also intertwined with our national festivals like Yalda night and Iranian’s New Year.
Comparing this kind of heating system in Iranian culture with other cultures reveals us that the similar devices are also utilized in different corner of worlds. Japanese kotatsu, Spanish Brasero, Afghan Sandali, Dutch foot stove, Portuguese mesa Camilla, Chines Kang bed-stove and also Korean Ondlos are based on this fact that heating from feet is helpful to not even health, but also soul.
If you are eager to see Korsi, even in a warm summer day in Iran, you can join us in Persian’s walk free walking tour in Old Tehran and our story teller local guides bring it on for you.
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