Traditions

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VALUES & TRADITION

Jordan can be regarded as a typically Arab country for its people are very warm, friendly and hospitable. Jordanians are typically happy to forgive foreigners who break the rules of etiquette. However, visitors seen to be making an effort to observe local customs will undoubtedly win favour.

Joining local people for a cup of tea or coffee can be a wonderful way to learn more about local culture. If you are invited yet are unable to attend, then it is perfectly acceptable to decline. Place your right hand over your heart and politely make your excuses.

Many families, particularly in rural areas, are very traditional and, if you visit their house, you may well find it is divided between the men and women. Foreign women are often treated as "honorary" men.

Local women in Jordan enjoy considerable freedom when compared with many other countries in the region. Women are entitled to a full education, they can vote, they can drive cars, and they often play significant roles in business and politics. Arranged marriages and dowries are still common.

The country's cuisine features dishes using beans, olive oil, yogurt, and garlic. Jordan's two most popular dishes are msakhan, lamb or mutton and rice with a yogurt sauce, and mansaf, chicken cooked with onions, which are both served on holidays and on special family occasions. Daily fare includes khubz (flatbread) with vegetable dips, grilled meats, and stews, served with sweet tea or coffee flavoured with cardamom.

Holidays that are celebrated in the kingdom include the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, the two 'ids (festivals; 'Id al-Fitr and 'Id al-Adha), and other major Islamic festivals, along with secular events such as Independence Day and the birthday of the late King Hussein.

Id al-Fitr (Arabic Festival of Breaking Fast) , also called al-'Id al-Saghir , first of two canonical festivals of Islam. 'Id al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, and is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar (though the Muslim use of a lunar calendar means that it may fall in any season of the year).

 

More than a third of Jordanians are under 15. This is one of the best-educated countries in the developing world: almost everyone you meet will be able to hold some sort of conversation in English (and possibly French, Spanish and German too). Students from all income groups and social backgrounds mix freely at the universities, where the traditional emphasis on engineering and the sciences – Jordan is a world leader in medical fields including ophthalmology and cardiology – is giving way to new technology. Aqaba’s Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts, backed by Steven Spielberg, is turning out directors and cinematographers of world-class standard. The heritage-style image of Jordan as a nation of simple tent-dwellers, scratching a living from the desert sands, bears little relation to reality. Jordan culture and traditions

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2017