In search of junub, the hippie spirit of Iran’s south

The Guardian – Among Iranian youths, junub carries much more meaning than just its literal definition of south. It has long been synonymous with an adventurous trip, a breath of fresh air and a sense of freedom. When winter cold comes to most of Iran, in its southern provinces young Iranians scatter around the remote beaches and mountains of the Persian Gulf islands.

Here, they enjoy the company of other open-minded Iranians and ­­­­­relative safety to pursue their personal freedoms, engage in creative activities, exchange ideas and form long-term connections that last far beyond the beaches of Hormoz or Hengam. The Iranian travellers discover their country, reconnect with nature and bind closely with the local communities, which thrive from the constant influx of tourists and travellers.

Odin has a master’s degree in philosophy, and names himself after one of the gods of Norse mythology. Mahsa hitchhiked alone around Iran – she plays the hang drum, and is on her way to a three-day meditation retreat in Hengam island.

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