Customs and Habits

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Hamdan
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Rural people are different from city dwellers the world over. In the UAE, those who live in the countryside tend to be intimate and hospitable and they expect the same courtesy from visitors. They’re also territorial and have a strong sense of ownership.

Like the mountains and deserts where they live, they are mysterious and not easy to understand. For their part, they’ll wonder why you’ve come to visit their barren land and look at you suspiciously. It fakes a great deal of contact and communication to win their friendship, but if you do it will be for life.

A typical meeting begins with lengthy greetings and handshakes, followed by the exchange of pleasantries. If the conversation carries on they will enquire as to the purpose of your visit and where you’re heading.

You may be invited into their house; more often though a mat is brought outside and placed under the shade of the porch. Visitors are often offered fruit, especially dates, accompanied by tea and coffee brought out in large trays. Fruit is peeled for the guest and the flow of coffee continues. Women are not as inhibited here as they are in the city. Even though we may see them behind a mask or burqa (they may be shy of men) they may go to the extent of shaking hands with them and exchanging pleasantries. Nevertheless, the men and women are often segregated even in one house.

You could be invited to share a meal with the family. Meals are almost always arranged on the floor with the food brought in on large trays and placed on a plastic tablecloth or mat. Everyone approaches the pile of rice topped with meat, chicken or fish, from their own corner. Side dishes include salad, pickled fruits, vegetables and, of course, dates. Water and soft drinks are served during the meal. As a guest, you’ll be served the best portions. When the meal is over water is brought in a pitcher to wash the hands. Fruit is then passed around again, accompanied by sweets, tea and coffee.

At the end of the meal everyone retires for a short rest and this is the time to leave. These villagers will never forget you, and will appreciate your visiting them again, especially with any pictures you may have taken of them.

Village people are very traditional in their thinking and have strict social and moral codes. You should be careful not to offend them in any way when you meet them. In return for their hospitality, the least one can do is respect their customs and traditions and perhaps offer them some soft drinks, fruit or other delicacies from the city.

Villagers are always curious about city folk don’t be alarmed if they ask you about your private life! Some of the younger villagers may even be able to speak English.

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alshamsi_m
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Thanks Hamdan

I just wanted to add one more thing ... they will bring the visitor a perfume but in wood they call it Aowd ( they burn it with charcoal and you keep the smoke go though your dress or hair ...it smells really nice ... but don't over smell it is not good for you health) it is an expensive stuff by the way ... and this will be served after the meal .... in the arabic culture ... after aowd no Gouwd .. means ... after Aowd you have to leave :)

some on the Bedween when they serve you the food ... they will leave you alone ... it doesn't mean this is some kind of disrespect .... the idea that you leave the guest alone so he can eat freely as much as he wants without being shy from the host

That is all for today
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caprihorse
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Hamdan, this is great blog. Thank you for detail explanation on local habits, very much needed for us, the foreigners living in this country.
Sheikh Fadi
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great blog! very helpful. I am always curious and interested in meeting a real village people living out far in the country side, unfortunately I only come across camel farms being looked after by Pakistanis and Indians. I hope I'd get to meet some village people some day and take photos for my documentary.
Thanks again guys.
Yoghybear
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great great, very interesting :045:

thanks a lot for sharing :003:
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caprihorse
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Guys, hehe this blog was posted 1 year back... It's good, that you can still find interesting blogs on our Forum. Keep searching and reading :045:
zeemmee
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Explorers please Include some Bedouins in your Exploring list. :003:
Maddie
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Good Blog. .. worth reading again
zeezee
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Very nice. I'd like to add that the country side people of UAE are great drivers. Our adventures are usually their everyday life.
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