Culture of Jordan
NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS Jordan is a Muslim country, and many local traditions and customs have a religious “tinge”.
Jordanians are by nature very friendly and hospitable. Greetings and farewells are usually accompanied by a handshake. Most gestures are performed with the right hand, as the left is considered unclean. Food is offered and accepted also only with the right hand.
According to Homeagerly.com, Jordanian speech etiquette is not very different from the norms adopted in other Arab countries. But for a European who communicates with Arabs for the first time, Eastern greetings may seem a little long.
Before starting a conversation, the interlocutor is usually asked the traditional Arabic question “Kif halyak?” or “Kifak?” (How are you?). They can ask about health, children, news. All these questions are by no means a manifestation of curiosity, but rather a tribute to tradition. But there is one question that an Arab – whether a Muslim or a Christian – will never ask, and moreover, may be offended when he hears it from a European interlocutor. This “seditious” question, quite accepted in the European environment, is about the wife. For an Arab, a wife is something holy, vigilantly guarded from others. Even familiar men do not have the right to ask such questions, except in cases of serious illness of the spouse. Then close friends can ask her husband about her health. HOLIDAYS January 15 – Tree Day
March 22 – Arab League Day
March 25 – Independence Day
September 6 – Ascension of King Hussein to the throne
November 14 – King Hussein’s Birthday
Muslim holidays are celebrated according to the lunar calendar, which is 10-12 days shorter than the Gregorian. End of Lent, Day of Sacrifice, Muslim New Year, Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday and Ascension Night of the Prophet.
Jordan: Jordanian Cuisine
Cuisine The cuisine of Jordan is in many ways similar to the cuisine of other Arab countries. Jordanian dishes are typical of Syria and Lebanon, Palestine and the Emirates. However, there are also differences.
Shawarma, for example, can be rightfully attributed to the common dishes that are common throughout the Middle East. Real shawarma is made in the form of a kind of pancakes with a lot of meat and greens. In all Arab countries, vegetables, chicken and lamb are widely used for its preparation, but in no case pork.
A typical Jordanian dish – mansaf – lamb with rice, boiled in sour cream. It’s boiled, not stewed. This dish is served at weddings, dinner parties or dinner parties. In Jordan, mansaf is often cooked with laban, sour cream. Mansaf is served on a large platter: finely chopped lamb is placed on rice spread out in an even layer, and sprinkled with roasted nuts on top. Often a flatbread or pita bread is placed under a layer of rice.
Adas (yellow lentils with chicken and onions in lemon juice) is a dish consumed almost every day. This hearty lentil stew is usually eaten in winter. Another typical Jordanian dish is very interesting – makluba, which is translated from Arabic as “inverted”. The name of the dish is fully consistent with the method of its preparation. Potatoes and eggplants are fried together with beef or lamb in a pot or pan. Then pre-fried rice is added there, poured with water, salt and spices are added and all this is stewed until tender. Well, then the makluba is covered with a large dish and turned over. It turns out meat-potato-rice casserole, served on a large dish with sour cream.
Often in Jordanian taverns they also offer mlukhiya – a soup of meat, chicken or rabbit with garlic, rice and lemon juice. The leaves of various herbs that grow in the Arab countries give a special piquancy to Mlukhia. An inexpensive dish of Jordanian cuisine is cutlets made from coarsely crushed peas, which are generously lubricated with thehenia, a kind of putty made from the same yellow peas with sesame oil.
In Jordan, there are both “dukkans”, which offer the widest selection of Arab national dishes, and restaurants where they are happy to treat guests with foreign dishes. There are also restaurants (most often at hotels) where you can taste local and overseas dishes. Typically, lunch in a typical Jordanian restaurant costs $10. In expensive restaurants – up to $20. Jordanians love coffee. Unlike neighboring Syria and Lebanon, where black pepper is traditionally added to coffee, and the beans themselves are overcooked, in Jordan they drink wasat – a mixture of lightly roasted coffee beans with cardamom. Good coffee in the country is expensive: 1 kg costs from $9 to $29.
Alcoholic drinks of various strengths are sold throughout the country. Local “attraction” – anise vodka, called “arak”. It is usually served diluted with cold water, or with ice. In addition, there are traditional Arabic soft drinks – Irk Assus, Tamr Hindi.