middle eastern cultures and traditions
Bedouins like this young man wearing a fez are traditionally renowned for their hospitality . This includes Collectivist vs. Individualistic â¦ The Middle East, as defined above, encompasses four distinct culture areas: Arab, Turkish, Iranian, and the newly evolved Israeli culture. Rain and dew were all-important in Canaan but of little â¦ Afghan, on the other hand, is a term generally used to refer to any ethnic group in Afghanistan, although some use it to refer specifically to Pashtuns. When visiting a Mosque or a holy shrine, as a woman or a non-Muslim you are required to wear a headscarf, no exceptions, but you’ll win points if you put it on automatically for respect. Tuâ¦ They’re just trying to make a living to feed themselves and their family. Making Friends:Â A pack of cigarettes for adults and pens or hair accessories for children will make you popular. Many Muslims believe that reading the Quran in translation to understand it is less of a blessing than reading it in the original Arabic, even if you can’t understand the meaning. For these reasons, the prestige of Arabic and oral recitation have remained an essential component of Islamic tradition. By Craig S. Davis. The literary language of pre-Islamic poetry, the Quran, and classical Arabic literature has survived today in a version called Modern Standard Arabic, or fusha.  In some areas, Islamic rules have affected certain cultural values. You know, I really have to be going now. In South Asia, for example, Pashtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis, Hazaras, Tajiks, and other groups are in constant conflict. Strong religion beliefs often govern family life and their way of life. there are substantial numbers of Jews and Christians who also live in these countries However throughout the years, the two have come to influence one another constaâ¦ The Middle East is actually a transcontinental region that centers on western Asia, Egypt, and Turkey. Wearing the pseudo wedding band means “hands off, no chance”. In art history, literature and cultural studies, Orientalism is the imitation or depiction of aspects in the Eastern world.These depictions are usually done by writers, designers, and artists from the West. Contact: Paula Rainey, President. Dietary law: Rules And Customs In World Religions; Health and Disease. Travel Tip:Â Ditch those Western ways! When I announced to the Pashtun chokidar (gatekeeper) in my flawed Urdu of my intentions to visit a patient, he abruptly informed me in his equally flawed Urdu that visiting hours were three hours off. I was wearing Pakistani clothes, including a tope, a Pakistani hat. In the Middle East, â Islam stresses the idea of a public morality, which is to be enforced collectivelyâ. The spread of Buddhism and Hindu Yoga is partly responsible for this. If you plan to travel to this regioâ¦ Many souvenir hawkers seem to know many languages, but often they only known a few appropriate phrases or attention getting questions in that language, and that’s where their knowledge ends. The Middle Eastern Health Inequality Paradox and the Gender Obesity Gap (2018) To deal with persistent souvenir hawkers, it’s better not to tease them, harass them back or get angry. Bye!”. Countries of the Middle East â a link to a list of 11 countries. Turkish Weddings: Colorful and Lavish Traditions 2. Most of these sâ¦ Always ask permission first. Learn a few useful and polite phrases in Arabic and you’ll soon be making friends with the warmest and most welcoming people in the world. There are several characteristics of culture impacting the interactions between Middle Eastern and Western peoples. Jews returning to Israel in the 20th century spoke Yiddish, Ladino, Arabic, as well as the many languages of their countries of origin. From the first generation of Muslims, the duty of preserving the Quran has fallen to a Quranic specialist called hafiz (meaning one who memorizes). Even more diverse than the different English dialects spoken in Australia, Ireland, England, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, Arabic has a vast array of dialects so distinct that an uneducated farmer from Morocco likely couldn’t communicate with an illiterate farmer from Lebanon. The term Persian generally refers to an Iranian who speaks the Persian language, also known as Farsi. Maybe you think of the Golden Age of Islamic civilization, or of hummus and falafel, but, in fact, there is a great diversity of the cultural production of the Middle East today. In the Middle East, for instance, getting a cup of coffee (or tea) is a significant part of each day, with cultural and social importance. If you want to buy something in a souk, you will be haggling about the price. The US Bureau of Consular Affairs Travel advice, warnings and resources for all American travellers. Fewer than half the world’s Muslims are Arabs. The Do's and Don'ts when eating with a Moroccan family at home. Fertility of agriculture, of edible animals, and of the human population was a paramount factor in the life and religion of the ancient Middle East. Stay away from crowds and never get involved in the local demonstrations.Â Steer clear of heavily guarded American embassies, except if you’re going in to register, and always steer clear of military-looking areas. In â¦ Guide Written by Erika Linden Green-Rafeh. However, intensive efforts were made to teach all of them Hebrew, and the revival of the language became complete. The people in eastern countries are more traditional than people in the West when we consider their rituals, customs, clothing, etc. Use the right hand to eat, touch and present gifts. Greetings and Conversations. Prophetic and á¹¢Å«fÄ« healing traditions continue to flourish in many parts of the Middle East, particularly in the countries of North Africa. Arab culture and the Islamic faith are deeply intertwined. You may actually be surprised that street crime is much lower in the Middle East than the towns and cities back home (punishment and discipline is far stricter in all levels of society) but it always pays to look after your valuables carefully. Many matters of etiquette in the Middle East are connected to Islam as it is written in the Qur'an and how it has been traditionally understood and â¦ Related and sometimes useful is a bag of small cheap plastic hair barrettes to hand out to little girls – comes in handy when you want to take pictures. The record also indicates that the main center of Patriarchal activity before coming to Palestine was Haran (Aram-Nahariam, Gen. 24:10. Given Arabic’s special status in Islamic tradition, the consensus among Muslims is that any translation of the Quran into another language dilutes the meaning and full impact of the Quran’s message, not to mention the loss of resonant eloquence that you can only attain in Arabic. Most Muslims grow up speaking any number of languages other than Arabic. A little politeness and a smattering of a few Arabic words will earn you dividends one hundred-fold when encountering the local people in any of the Arab lands. What is the Traditional Dress of Israel? The Arab, Turkish, and Iranian cultures are heirs to great Islamic empires that had their centers in the region and represent three distinct variations within the global Islamic civilization. 3. The geographical location of any given society close to certain physical features may shape the social life of people. â¦ Some are Arabs, Turkish, Kurdish, or Baluchi. Thousands of Muslim pilgrims make ziyÄrÄt, or visits, to saints' shrines, some large, some small, dotting the urban and rural landscapes of countries like Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt but also in Middle Eastern countries outside the Arab world, including Turkey and Iran. Also a large number of Afghans speak a dialect of Persian they usually call Dari. People in the East are rigid in their ideologies and beliefs; they are often reluctant to challenge anâ¦ In some major cities, such as Beirut, Tel Aviv or Dubai, you will likely see locals and tourists... Hospitality Is Key. Arabs are part of an ethnic group, not a religion. Man is dependent on the fate as determined by God and is powerless in controlling many of lifeâs events. While itâs considered impolite to make out in â¦ When the Romans destroyed the temple at Jerusalem in 70 A.D., Jews dispersed to the Diaspora ceased speaking Hebrew in everyday life and used it mostly in prayers and literature. A great tension exists between different ethnic groups in the Middle East. The book will be useful for teachers and students, â¦ You get the picture. If the Moroccan farmer and Lebanese farmer have graduated high school, they’re likely well versed in fusha and could communicate with one another, read the newspaper, and comprehend television newscasts from other Arab countries. For this reason, you could say you are what you speak. Giving a gift to a stranger’s child will not have the same negative connotations as in the West. Address: P.O. While generalizations of Middle Eastern culture are readily apparent, some variation and extremes are found within the geographical area known as the Middle East. What’s an Arab? What is Middle Eastern culture? In Tajikistan, most people speak Tajik, which is a dialect of Persian. How to Dress:Â Modestly for men (i.e no shorts) and for women, a headscarf is an essential and absolutely no bare arms or bare legs. This formal Arabic is in many ways an artificial language because almost no one really grows up speaking Modern Standard Arabic at home (although most Arabs try to convince you their dialect is closest to fusha). If you try to say “no-I-know-you-made-it-yourself-it’s-very-nice-I-just-don’t-want-any-I-already-have-seen-that-crap-in-dozens-of-other-shops-I’m-not-buying-any.” in your rapid-fire speaking voice and alien accent, they might not understand, and it seems rude, as if you’re making fun of them. Middle Eastern Humanities: An Introduction to Cultures of the Middle East combines the guided, step-by-step and interactive style of a textbook with a sophisticated and sympathetic approach to the cultural logics of tradition and innovation of the Middle East. You can pretty much answer any question you don’t want to answer with “Inshallah!” It’s a great phrase – sort of like “we’ll see, sort of, I don’t know, maybe, probably not!”. The use of Hebrew became a defining trait of Zionism, and Jewish youngsters in Eastern Europe studied Hebrew when preparing to immigrate to Palestine. The headscarf option may be of more use in the more rural areas as city women tend to dress far more “western”.Â This is true for cities such as Marrakech, Istanbul, Damascus, Beirut where the rules about head scarves are much more relaxed – however, ALL mosques require you to be respectful and cover yourselves before entering. As a result, religious affiliation is essential to everyâ¦ The Middle East is a region that includes eighteen nations and is home to at least twelve languages. Do not, under any circumstances, take pictures of obvious military or governmental staff, or heavily guarded buildings.Â You have been warned! OR small pieces of candy or cheap ballpoint pens. But the pattern begins to break down with Persian. Avoid Public Displays Of Affection. While religion is a strong common denominator, adherence â¦ Explore in detail the specific customs and cultural traits of several Middle Eastern countries! Hence different parts of the world feature different cultures that vary very much from one another. This article on ethnicity is designed not to express the scope of tension between ethnic groups across the region (an endless topic touched upon throughout the historical sections), but rather to help explain the importance of language and its link to ethnicity. Watch what the local women wear and your trip will go a bit smoother. Religion: The major religion of North Africa and the Middle East is Islam and there are substantial numbers of Jews and Christians who also live in these countries. Box 7152, Berkeley, California 94707. When we get to Modern Hebrew, the whole theory falls completely apart because the native speakers of Hebrew are Jews, (primarily Israeli Jews). Eastern world refers to countries in Asia and Middle East. In fact, even today a superb Quranic recitation can drive Muslims to tears. Ancient Middle East, history of the region from prehistoric times to the rise of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and other areas.. Evolution of Middle Eastern civilizations. To avoid being a target for pickpockets, walk confidently at all times, even if you’re totally lost and terrified, pretend you’re not. The you-are-what-you-speakparadigm works pretty well for Berbers (speaking Berber), Pashtuns (speaking Pashtu), Panjabis (speaking Panjabi), Uzbeks (speaking Uzbek), Kurds (speaking Kurdish) and so on. If you offer a cigarette to the person selling the thing (if it’s a man 9 times out of 10 he’ll be a smoker), you start to become more like a friend than a customer, “Oh, we’re just sitting here, two friends, talking about something I like.”, Always handy is a good story to tell while haggling for the product you want –Â “it’s for my cousin who is getting married” for example. Because Muhammad handed down the Quran in Arabic, you can only appreciate the resonant eloquence of the Quran when you recite it. For travel in Middle Eastern countries, taking a lightweightÂ headscarfÂ is highly recommend for women. Arabs tend to “talk around the point”, while Americans and Europeans are more direct. Middle Easterners often greet each other with a number of ritual phrases and fixed responses. MIDDLE EASTERN CULTUREs AND RELIGIONS About the Program What You Will Learn. Watch how the locals dress, greet each other and follow suit. “No, thank you.” said firmly and clearly is better and will let them exit to find another victim. Arabs are individuals who speak Arabic as a native tongue. Eastern philosophy, art, literature, and other traditions, are often found throughout the region in places of high importance, such as popular culture, architecture and traditional literature. Family plays an extremely important role in Eastern society. Family. The major countries of this region are Lebanon, Egypt, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, and Cyprus. Language, Ethnicity, and Tradition in the Middle East, Setting the Stage for the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Understanding the Disputed Areas of the Middle East, Weathering Iraq’s Stormy Romance with the West, A great tension exists between different ethnic groups in the Middle East. It’s helpful at times, to have a pack ofÂ cigarettes, even if you don’t smoke. If people don’t look like they’re eating snacks or drinking coffee while walking in the street, you shouldn’t either. Padan-Aram, Deut. Middle Eastern Geography and Culture Essay How does geography affect culture? The Middle East contains a multitude of societies with different traditions regarding etiquette. DO NOT TAKE PICTURES OF ANY WOMEN WITHOUT ASKING. In particular, Orientalist painting, depicting more specifically "the Middle East", was one of the many specialisms of 19th â¦ . 26:5). Middle Eastern Culture & Cuisine Religious Customs. Our M.A. Therefore, reading for prestige (or blessing) takes precedence over reading for meaning. Today you can find children all across the non-Arab Muslim World reading and reciting the Quran in an almost flawless Arabic under the patient guidance of a mullah (who has normally donated his time) even though these young children don’t have a clue what they’re saying. Of course, it’s your preference, but if you want to travel as unobtrusively and respectfully as possible, dress modestly in these countries. Modern Standard Arabic is used primarily for official speeches, television newscasts, newspapers and magazines, books, and so forth. . For example; in Iraq, people must follow strict religious customs that are set for them, whereas in Bahrain, a more liberal culture, people do not practice these customs â¦ The country has a rich culture which is mainly borrowed from different groups of people who lived in the region in the past. In this way, Muslims have maintained the holy text’s resonant eloquence and assured themselves that no part of the Quran has been altered (a huge concern for Muslims). When covering a charged subject like gender in the Middle East, it is important to consider context: the progression of rights over time, the value of the family network, the variation in family or personal status laws across states, or the role of Sharia (Islamic law) or indigenous religious practices in shaping cultural norms, for â¦ Promotes understanding between Americans and Arabs by offering educational programs and audiovisual presentations on Middle Eastern history, art, culture, and current events. Yiddish vs. Hebrew: Whatâs the Difference? He added that he was sorry for the delay, but said, “I thought you were Punjabi.”. This section is an attempt to gather information on customs of the oral tradition world-wide. Many of these characteristics and customs apply as much today as they did in ancient times, while other traditions have died out. A guide to Moroccan eating and hospitality. Lebanese culture is one of the most diverse cultures in the Arab region. Arabic describes the language they speak, whereas Arab refers to the people. Particularly â¦ 4. British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel advice for British citizens including travel warnings. Tools in Dealing with Middle Eastern Patients and Families â¢Ask Questions to understand personal beliefs and behaviors. For example, many countries in the Middle East still have arranged marriages and require that women cover their head and/or face to varying degrees. When the State of Israel was founded in 1948, Hebrew was decreed as one of its two official languages (the other one, Arabic, being the language of the Arab Palestinians who remained in Israel). In the ancient African culture, some of the people associated mountains, trees, or hills to their Gods and their cultural practices. Don’t offer a lengthy explanation in your native language of why you don’t want the thing, simply say “No, thank you”, preferably in Arabic (“La, shokran”), firmly but strongly and walk away briskly. Don’t bring too many tank tops or short sleeved shirts or shorts, even in summer (Capri pants can be okay in the more moderate Arab states). As in much of Asia and the Middle East, the left is generally regarded as unclean. Najda: Women Concerned About the Middle East. Storytelling traditions vary all over the world, yet have many things in common. Within that area is a diverse group of people bound together primarily by language and religion. This question is a good place to start. Scope out some place safe (bus terminal, gas station, porch of private home with kids) where you can check a map, ask a question or just get your bearings. Dress and Act Modestly. Each section describes the staple foods, meal patterns, cooking techniques, and food-related customs and traditions. Steer clear of travel mishaps and social gaffs when on the road to Damascus (or anywhere else in the Middle East) with our handy travel guide to the customs and cultures of the region. While Islam is the predominant religion, other religious groups are accepted and treated with respect.Most Arabs believe that most of lifeâs events are controlled and orchestrated by God. These specialists memorize the Quran by heart, recite it, and pass it on orally to others. Not all Iranians are Persian though. Warning, though, if there is a crowd of kids, they will descend on you – better to use this nicety if there are only one or two children present. The Muslim dilemma of Arabic stems from the fact that the majority of Muslims don’t speak Arabic. The culture of a community or a nation depends upon the surroundings, the values and beliefs that they are brought up upon. However, some cultures have much stronger traditions regarding the coffeehouse. Make sure you keep any expensive cameras in cases and preferably out of view in a bag or rucksack, or at least carried towards your body rather than in view of wandering hands on the street. Many Bedouins in Morocco believe taking a photo image of them steals their soul – it’s serious stuff in their culture. The forms that the fertility rites assumed varied from region to region, depending on climate and geography. degree in Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions is an interdisciplinary program that combines studies in religion, language, history, and social sciences, and provides students opportunities for field education. Arabs are located in 22 principle countriessituated in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 1. Arabs were around long before â¦ Today, the cultures of the world can be divided into two main parts such as the Eastern and Western culture. So for instance, you can say an Arabic (language) newspaper, but Arab food or Arab customs. No matter what your personal feelings about this custom are, it saves you a lot of staring and unwanted attention from grinning teens to hassle from grown men.Â More importantly however, it’s more respectful of the culture. Some of the influencers of Lebanese culture are Phoenicians, Assyrians, Romans, Ottoman Turks, Greeks, Persians, â¦ Making Enemies:Â Egging on bartering shop keepers, ranting in English, taking unrequested photos of people, especially the Bedouin. When I told him the United States, he leaped up, shook my hand, expressed his pleasure in meeting me, and informed me that I was free to enter the hospital. The language barrier between dialects, therefore, is overcome through the medium of Modern Standard Arabic. Small talk and ritual greetings is normal. The high antiquity of civilization in the Middle East is largely due to the existence of convenient land bridges and easy sea lanes passable in summer or â¦ Bedouin men seem not to care and will usually pose handsomely, but ask anyway. CUSTOMS & CULTURES IN THE MIDDLE EAST MIDDLE EAST The Arab world consists of about 20 countries stretching from Mauritania in the west to Oman in the East. Observe the locals, cross the street when and where they do – cross with them in a group rather than alone. The primary religions of the region are Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Because I’d walked about 45 minutes to get there, I decided to squat down beside the chokidar, wait, and practice my Urdu on him. The history, culture, religion, and tradition have played a huge role in defining the cuisine of this vast landmass. If a women is wearing a headscarf or is Bedouin (recognisable by facial tattoos), better to not take her picture at all. Traditional Storytelling in Asia and the Middle East. In 1988, this author went to a small Afghan hospital in Peshawar to visit one of my Afghan students who’d developed typhoid fever. Lace, Fabric, and Fashion Design in Turkey 5. Family is extremely important to Middle Eastern cultures and usually extends to aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. If you don’t have children and they ask “when?” or “why not?” and you don’t want to get into a lengthy discussion of whatever reason you have, just look slightly wistful and say “Inshallah.” which means “god willing (I’ll have children one day).” which gives you a friendly, graceful exit. Many of the place names in the region of Haran are tied in with Abrahamic history: Serug, Nahor, Terah.4 “Here, please have one. â¢âIn-Groupâ-Make statements that show an appreciation of the culture, âTell me about your culture, I love learning about other culturesâ. In 1988, this author went to a small Afghan hospital in Peshawar â¦ Language, Ethnicity, and Tradition in the Middle East. God called Abraham from Ur and made a unique covenant with him. For single women travelling alone, it is suggested to bring a ring that looks like aÂ wedding band, and possibly a picture of any man that you can refer proudly to as “my husband”. In fact, before the late 19th century, almost no one grew up speaking Hebrew at home. However, Iran and Turkey, which many people consider Arab nations, are not part of this group because they speak Farsi or Turkish. Groups of people bound together primarily by language and religion these sâ¦ Avoid public Displays of.! Link to a list of 11 countries a gift to a persistent male will you. Hair accessories for children will make you popular for instance, you can only the. A Moroccan family at home Sindhis, Hazaras, Tajiks, and other groups in! ÂTell me about your culture, âTell me about your culture, âTell me about your culture religion... Takes precedence over reading for meaning region in the West region that centers on Western,! 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