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Customs and Traditions in Egypt

 

The history of Egyptian society dates back to 7000 BC, but when the Arab conquest in 642 AD, brought Islam to Egypt, they introduced many of the beliefs and customs of modern Egypt.

In order to understand the Egyptian climate, you need to know their culture, customs, traditions and family values. And thus you will be able to understand and respect their values, so traveling to Egypt will be an added pleasure and a bunch of excitement.

 

General Customs

  • Most Families in Egypt gather on certain occasions like Feasts, weddings, and in the holy month of Ramadan. They like to gather to break their fast and have “Iftar” with their family and extended ones as well as weekly family meetings.

  • Egyptian society does not allow relations before marriage, and if it happens, it is secret until the date of official engagement. For example, people can not express love, such as embracing and kissing in the streets because they are not acceptable in Egypt religiously and morally.

  • Men and women can’t have a relationship unless there’s an official bond like engagement or wedding or family bond. Some of these customs depend on the social class of people but it’s common among all classes that men and women should have a limited relationship unless they have a family bond.

  • Commonly, Egyptians are quite adjustable in nature and they love to help people. If you ask them any question, they will answer it happily.

  • One most interesting thing is whenever you will ask something to an Egyptian, he will call some other people to discuss the question and will try the best to offer you the correct answer of the question asked.

  • A man's word is considered his bond and to go back on your word is to bring dishonor to your family.

 

Communicate with the Egyptians

  • Egyptians prefer to do business with those they know and respect, therefore expect to spend time cultivating a personal relationship before the business is conducted.

  • At any gathering whether work or family or friends, tea will be the main drink in any gathering and can be replaced by coffee and this in the culture of the Egyptians show the hospitality. Even if you do not take a sip tea or coffee, always accept the beverage. Declining the offer is viewed as rejecting the person.

  • Since Egyptians judge people on appearances so wear appropriate clothing for every occasion.

  • Egyptians believe direct eye contact is a sign of honesty and sincerity, so be prepared for disconcertingly intense stares.

  • You may find in the talks between the Egyptians that they may speak loudly may come to mind that they are quarreling, but this does not indicate anger, but is just an attempt to prove their point of view.

 

 

     Greeting people in Egypt and Meeting Etiquette

  • In Egypt, greetings are usually expressed with handshakes, men to men and women to women.

  • In any greeting between men and women, the woman must extend her hand first. If she does not, a man should bow his head in greeting.

  • Handshakes are somewhat limp and prolonged, although they are always given with a hearty smile and direct eye contact.

  • Once a relationship has developed, it is common to kiss on one cheek and then the other while shaking hands, men with men and women with women.

  • It is best to follow the lead of the Egyptian you are meeting.

  • Handshakes are the customary greeting among individuals of the same sex.

 

 

Family Bonds In Egypt

  • The family is the most significant unit of Egyptian society.

  • Kinship plays an important role in all social relations.

  • The individual is always subordinate to the family, tribe or group.

 

 

Dining Etiquette

If you are invited to an Egyptian's house:

  • Dress well and conservatively. 

  • Compliment the host on the house.

  •  You must bring good quality chocolate or sweets to the home of the host.

  • He can offer you with some chocolates that you bring to him this is a kind of hospitality.

Table manners

  • Wait for the host or hostess to tell you where to sit.

  • Eat with the right hand only.

  • Always show appreciation for the meal.

 

Gift Giving Etiquette

  • If you are invited to an Egyptian's home for dinner, bring good quality chocolates, sweets or pastries to the hostess.

  • Do not give flowers, which are usually reserved for weddings or the ill, unless you know that the hosts would appreciate them.

  • A small gift for the children shows affection.

  • Always give gifts with the right hand or both hands if the gift is heavy.

  • Gifts are not opened when received

 

 

 

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