CULTURE RICH DESTINATIONS - EGYPT
Heritage & Culture Travel Themes
Heritage and culture plays an important role in Africa. Each country have a unique culture that is rich and diverse and varies not only from one country to another, but within each country itself. The culture of each ethnic group centers on family and can be found in each group’s art, music and oral literature. From storytelling through oral literature to traditions, dialects, arts and music, indigenous culture persist. And we couldn't agree more when Victoria falls guide describe the unification of communities. "In African culture, the “self” is not separate from the world, it is united and intermingled with the natural and social environment. It is through relations with one’s community and surroundings that an individual becomes a person of volition, whose actions and decisions affect the entire group rather than just oneself. There is a Xhosa proverb that is common to all African cultures and languages, “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu,” (“A person is a person through persons”)." Or as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. We hope to take you on this journey to understand and appreciate African culture by highlighting cultural nuances, heritage and traditions of each country that seem to have tremendous influence in the world.
Egyptian Tribes & other Cultural Significance
Cultural Influence on Daily Life
Talking politics here is probably a poor choice, and can be sensitive.
Your Egyptian counterpart may have strong or sensitive feelings regarding certain subjects, such as Israeli-Palestinian relations and opinions of Islam in general. These topics should be treated diplomatically should they arise in conversation.
Avoid eating communal food with your left hand, as this hand is generally reserved for personal hygiene. Only the right hand is used when eating food with one’s hands.
Alcohol is generally not offered nor is it consumed with food. Only offer alcohol to your Egyptian counterpart if you know that they consume it.
It is considered offensive to offer pork to Muslims as pigs and products relating to pigs (such as pork and pig leather) are prohibited in the Islamic religion.
A person entering into any group scenario should greet those already present. Greetings between men and women: A handshake may be acceptable in certain circumstances and the woman must extend her hand first. If she does not, a man should bow his head as a sign of acknowledgement. Kissing on the cheek is acceptable if they are very closely related.
Egypt is predominantly Muslim therefore, modest dress and presentation is highly valued in Egyptian culture. Avoid carelessly expressing opinions and criticism, particularly towards religion.
Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
Ramadan is the holy month of intense fasting and prayer in which Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from sunup to sunset. The mood during the day can be somber, with reduced business hours to allow time for spiritual contemplation. The first day after Ramadan begins a three- or four-day holiday called Eid al-Fitr. After the final fast-breaking (iftar), people often celebrate all night. The next day everyone puts on new clothes to join street festivities with small fairs and open markets while families and friends get together to exchange gifts and sweets. Muslim holidays are not on fixed dates because they are on the lunar calendar, so they move back by about 11 days each year.