The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was once a developed desert country. But now, thanks to substantial oil and gas reserves, KSA is the 15th largest global economy and the world’s second largest oil producer. Saudi Arabia have borders with Oman, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and Yemen. The country is mostly desert with extreme climate and extreme temperatures. The country is ruled by a ruling dynasty (Aiwan-e-Saudis) as an absolute monarchy, which began in 1932 with the nation’s fierce struggle for solidarity.
The beauty of Saudi Arabia: cultures, customs and traditions
Saudi Arabia’s culture is defined by its Islamic heritage, its historical role as an ancient trading center, and its Bedouin traditions. Saudi society has evolved over the years, adapting its customs and traditions to modernity, from hospitality to its dressing style. The cultural aspect of Saudi Arabia is represented below.
- The depth of its civilization, which is more than a million years old, is confirmed by the evidence and heritage of the archaeology prevalent in this country.
- It was the land of many states and states that dominated the evolution of human civilization.
- Its prominent geographical location has made it a crossroads for international trade routes of all ages.
- The cradle of Arabia and Islam and the land of two holy mosques.
- As a crossroads of cultures and a bridge of cultural communication.
Arabic is one of the oldest language groups. The inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula first used Arabic in the Islamic period. With the spread of Islam and Islamic culture in the seventh century AD, the Arabic language spread to the north, east and west. Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world today. There are about 200 million Arabic speakers in more than 20 countries.
Arabic is the official language of several Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, and Jordan. Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Traditional Arabic is the usual written and spoken language of all Arab republics.
It is the language of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, and has changed little over the centuries. The Arabic is used everywhere in formal speech, radio, TV news broadcasts, films, dramas and in poetry. This form also helps as a public spoken language for Saudis from all portions of the Arabic-speaking world.
.Arabic appears in several dialects, one of which is the Gulf dialect (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates). English is also an important language in Saudi Arabia, with educated Saudis speaking English as a second language.
Food in daily life:
Eating in the old days:
The main traditional food was dates. Goat, camel and cow’s milk. Ghee, cheese, and other dairy products; Wheat, millet, and barley bread and other foodstuffs. Squash, eggplant, okra, pumpkin, beans, beets, onions and some other vegetables. Mint, coriander, parsley and cumin. And occasionally mutton, goat, or camel meat and fish on the beach. Elderly people remember past meals as mediocre but coffee, without wasting any rush. He ate at home regularly and immediately after the morning prayers. Then started the day with a coffee breakfast and some dates. In the morning, dates, milk and / or dairy products and bread were served. The last and most important meal was usually taken before the sunset prayers and included a dish based on hot cereals, vegetables among the people sitting on spears, milk among the Bedouins, and rarely some meat and dates.
Foods in recent days:
Today’s meals are eaten later, and foods are more popular and widespread. Cheese, yogurt, jam, eggs, beans and bread can be eaten around eight o’clock. Mutton or chicken lunch on a plate of rice with vegetables and salads as well as fresh fruit shared by family members at 2:30 p.m. Dinner is usually a light version of lunch and is eaten well after eight o’clock. Today, there are usually very few dates, cereals and milk. Rice is common everywhere, and chicken is very common. Lightly brewed Arabic coffee without sugar, but cardamom is a national drink. Tea is also popular.
Foods that are forbidden are forbidden by Islam, especially pork and alcohol and other alcoholic beverages. In the past, restaurants were unusual and somewhat inappropriate, but now in a wide range of areas, in addition to American and Middle Eastern fast food, Middle Eastern, North African, Italian, Indian and Pakistani, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and other Work is also done in food.
Food customs on formal occasions:
The arrival of a guest in someone’s home is an event that leads to a special meal in honor of the visitor. Traditional etiquette required that sheep, goats or camels be slaughtered with a sacrifice, and this is still often done. However, chicken can be replaced, and in many urban households meat dishes have replaced whole animal food. The sacrifice of goats or young camels is still required for large formal occasions associated with Islamic festivals, weddings, reunions with family and relatives, and other social events.
Dress Traditions in Saudi Arabia:
The Saudis preferred traditional clothing to Western-style clothing. Usually prefer to wear modern adaptations of ancient designs. Loose, flowing traditional clothing is practical while maintaining the state’s hot, windy environment and the Islamic ideal of moderation.
The men wear an ankle-length shirt made of wool and cotton, known as thab. On their heads, they wear a large square of cotton (ghotra) which is attached exclusively to the top of the skull (kofia), and is replaced by a circle of strings (eagle). The flowing, full-length outer garment (bisht), usually made of wool or camel hair, completes the fabric. In the old days, Bisht was also used as a blanket during travel.
Women usually wear a black outer veil (abaya) over their clothes, which can be modern in style. Saudi women traditionally wear black sheila, goi scarves, or jewelry on their heads, hats or scarves. Traditional clothing is often embellished with coins, skins or brightly colored fabric accessories.
Some Saudi women wear veils made entirely of material. The practice of wearing the niqab is an ancient one that dates back to at least two thousand years before the advent of Islam. In harsh desert environments, a thin veil protects from constant sun exposure that can be dangerous to skin and eye health. Today the veil is also a symbol of politeness and goodness.
Marriages customs and Traditions of Saudis:
Traditionally, marriage is preceded by paternal cousins or other elders. It was customary for prospective couples not to meet before the wedding night, and weddings were to be arranged by fathers, mothers and other relatives. These practices are changing slowly and unequally, but the tendency is towards at least marriages of close cousins and the couple communicating with each other before marriage. Parents still arrange marriages, but indirectly and mostly from the background. Men are allowed to have four wives at a time as long as they treat them equally, but polygamy is uncommon in most populations. Marriage is considered an essential part of life, and almost all adults get married. Marriage is usually an expensive affair. Divorce is relatively easy for men and very difficult for women in Saudi Arabia. Divorce rates are high, especially for men, and remarriage is common.
Customs and Etiquette of Saudi Arabia:
In general, Saudis tolerate societal mistakes and are unlikely to be blamed if they are born out of ignorance. However, awareness of local customs and manners always reflects good manners and will ensure a warm welcome for visitors.
Many newcomers to the country, even in the business environment, have to embrace the important boundaries of public dialogue and communication between men and women. Saudi Arabia is the most gender-segregated country in the world, and there are entire areas of women in public places, such as shopping malls, restaurants and workplaces. Public business women are expected to accompany women to public places with male counterparts.
Civilization has been given a lot of importance by the Saudis and therefore it is important to offer respectful greetings. There are many different types of greetings in Saudi Arabia, so it is often better to follow the lead of your Saudi counterparts. Greetings are usually warm and include a strong handshake, firmly joined with the right hand, and depending on the degree of familiarity that alternate cheeks are embraced with kisses. However, there is very little physical contact between men and women during public greetings.
Arab and Islamic traditions:
Traditions of arabs are rooted in Islamic teachings and saudi customs. They are taught to Saudis at an early age in their families and schools. The highlight of the year is the holy month of Ramadan and the Hajj season. The holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, ends with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, in which it is customary to buy gifts and clothes for children and meet friends and relatives.
Another highlight is the Hajj season, during which millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world come to Mecca. The Hajj season ended with the Eid al-Adha holiday, in which it is traditionally customary for the family to slaughter sheep in remembrance of Abraham’s consent to sacrifice his son.
Arab traditions, customs and cultures also play an important role in the life of Saudis. These ancient traditions have developed over thousands of years and are highly respected. These include the generosity and hospitality that every Saudi family offers to visitors, friends, and family. The simplest expression of hospitality is enough – its preparation is a complex cultural tradition, and it is often served in small cups with dates and sweets. Another sign of hospitality is the burning of incense to welcome guests.
Dance and Folk Music:
A living piece of the country’s history, Saudi folk music has been created by nomadic Bedouins and pilgrims who influence music from around the world.
Music varies from region to region. In Hijaz, for example, al-Sheiba’s music combines Arabic Andalusian lyrics and songs, while the folk music of Mecca and Medina reflects the influence of these two cities on the whole world.
The dance is also popular among Saudis. The national dance is the men’s sword dance called Ardha. An ancient tradition with its roots in the central part of the country, known as Najd, is a collection of Ardha singers, sword-wielding dancers and poets or narrators. Men stand in two lines or circles with swords, poets sing among themselves, and perform traditional dances.