Experience the culture of Jordan
Jordan can be regarded as a typically Arab country with people tha 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 favor.
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.
Religion in Jordan
Jordan is an ideal destination for those seeking cultural knowledge and spiritual enrichment. Jordan values its ethnically and religiously diverse population, consequently providing for the cultural rights of all its citizens. This spirit of tolerance and appreciation is one of the central elements contributing to the stable and peaceful cultural climate flourishing in Jordan. More than 92% of Jordanians are Muslims and approximately 6% are Christians. The majority of Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, but there are also Greek Catholics, a small Roman Catholic community, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and a few Protestant denominations.
As Jordan is predominantly an Islamic country, one may explore the principles of Islam through direct interaction with the people of this monotheistic religion. As the capstone of a long tradition beginning with Judaism and Christianity, Muslims believe that Islam completes the revelation of God’s message to humankind. Islam – which in Arabic means “submission” – is an assertion of the unity, completeness, and sovereignty of God. Muslims believe that God, or Allah as he is known in Arabic, revealed his final message to humankind through the Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Quran, which is the divine immutable word of God. Islam focuses heavily on the equality of all humans before the one true God, and therefore it is in many ways a return to the original doctrine of the pure monotheism that characterized the early Judeo-Christian tradition.
Islamic tradition has crystallized five fundamental observances, or “pillars,” that are as important as faith in defining Islamic identity and strengthening the common bond that ties all Muslims together. They are Confession of Faith, Daily Prayer (five times per day facing the holy city of Mecca), Fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Almsgiving, and Pilgrimage to Mecca.
The holy month of Ramadan
Ramadan is a holy month of fasting, the date of which varies according to the Islamic lunar calendar. During Ramadan, alcohol is not sold, except to non-Muslims in larger hotels. Smoking, eating and drinking in public is prohibited during the hours of daylight. As a sign of respect, visitors are kindly requested to refrain from these activities in public during fasting hours. During Ramadan, many stores, banks and offices open late at 09:00 and close early at 14:00.
Art in Jordan
Both private and governmental efforts have been made to foster the arts through various cultural centres, notably in Amman and Irbid, and through the establishment of art and cultural festivals throughout the country. Modernity has weakened the traditional Islamic injunction against the depiction of images of humans and animals; thus, in addition to traditional architecture, decorative design, and various handicrafts, it is possible to find non-utilitarian forms of both representational and abstract painting and sculpture. Body-of-Lies-2008-by-Ridley-Scott.Elaborate calligraphy and geometric designs often enhance manuscripts and mosques. As in the rest of the region, the oral tradition is prominent in literary expression. Jordan’s most famous poet, Mustafa Wahbi Al-Tal, ranks among the major Arab poets of the 20th century. After World War II a number of important poets and prose writers emerged, though few have achieved an international reputation.
Traditional visual arts survive in works of tapestry, embroidery, leather, pottery, and ceramics, and in the manufacture of wool and goat-hair rugs with vari-coloured stripes; singing is also important, as is storytelling. Villagers have special songs for births, circumcisions, weddings, funerals, and harvesting. Several types of “dabkah” (group dances characterized by pounding feet on the floor to mark the rhythm) are danced on festive occasions, while the “sahjah” is a well-known Bedouin dance. The Circassian minority has a sword dance and several other Cossack dances. As part of its effort to preserve local performing arts, the government sponsors a national troupe that is regularly featured on state radio and television programs. Jordan culture and traditions
Jordan has a small film industry, and sites within the country, such as Petra and Wadi Rum, have served as locations for major foreign productions, such as director David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
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