Egypt’s culture and customs are truly cosmopolitan and the perfect fusion of many of the other cultures and traditions here. Here the tradition, introduced by pharaohs is prevalent as well as the tribal culture and traditions, and even the customs of invaders are somehow seen present amidst modern Egypt. It’s like a melting pot here, where multiple cultures and ethnic traditions have created a new concept of living and a mentality that embraces new and advanced thinking that creates a liberal ambiance all around.
This liberal attitude is on display in Egyptians’ friendly behavior toward foreigners and tourists. If asked, people of Egypt will always share their service and enthusiasm with the people whom hardly they know. In Egypt, with its excellent travel attractions and cultural ambiance, the smiling faces of the locales are an added charm. All these sweet fragments are the best part of the visit to Egypt program and will remain with you as a memory forever. The Egypt culture immerses you into the traditions, languages, history civilizations of ancient places.
Egypt’s population is quite high, about 71 million, with the majority being Sunni Islam at about 62 million. Out of the rest, 8-9 million are Coptic Christians. Sunni and Copt are both sensitive and adhere to respective religious rules and customs. In Egypt, family integrity matters a lot and the head of the family takes the entire responsibility to run the family in a proper manner, with great focus on behavior. The family integrity of the Egyptians is in sharp contrast to the nuclear family concept in West. Here people put special respect for the family value and family relation. Perhaps this is one of the reasons, traveling in City of Egypt is safer than any other top global destinations, even for women traveling alone.
The lifestyle of Arabs is often different and often found enveloped with some mysterious facts. As a result, people often find these people mystic and some time offbeat. But in reality these people are truly a friend in heart; they love people and greet people with the best hospitality. They often like to call people at their home. However, if someone expresses disrespect and unfriendly gesture, these people take it as an insult and they become aggressive.
Here are Some Useful Arabic Words for You
The rules and regulation common in Egypt may seem quite a bit different, which can make people outsiders at Egypt at times confused. In order to understand the air of Egypt, you need to learn about their culture, customs, and family values. Once you’re able to understand and respect their values, traveling in Egypt will be even fuller of enjoyment and excitement.
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 interesting behavior is whenever you will ask an Egyptian something, he will call some other people over to discuss the question and they will try their best to offer you the correct answer to the question asked.
Most of the Muslims in Egypt are not accustomed to drinking alcohol, but hardly have any objection to others drinking. But it is important that if you drink alcohol while in Egypt, you should have it in moderation. In Egypt, consumption of pork is not that common but the places where pork is unavailable, you will still find plenty of other options.
Interested to know about Ramadan! Click here for more
Ramadan is a holy month for Egyptians in which people celebrate the month with friends and relatives. During this month, Egyptians stay awake at night and spend time in prayer and spiritual activities. Also, they donate to charity and indulge in the renewal of relationships as well as sharing love and affection with each other. The Egypt holiday season goes on throughout the country.
In Egypt, there are few restrictions valid for foreign women. In a ticket line, foreign women stand with other women in a queue. For underground train cars, elderly ladies always get first preference. Outright interaction with Egyptian women is never recommended; it is always wise to speak to them via someone local or family member whom you know well.
Crime in Egypt is rarely experienced and violence is mostly found in family disputes. However, some scattered events of petty thieves and pickpockets are sometimes found here and there. Women in an average need to be alert, especially in outlying zones. Consumption of drugs is not appreciated and you should not carry your drugs in public if you have anything with you.
How to Respond if an Egyptian Invites You to His home
There is one interesting fact about Egyptian invitation. They refuse all sorts of invitation initially and it is a custom to fulfill their formalities. If an Egyptian decides that he/she will invite you with real spirit, he/she will repeat the invitation again. And it is always good to honor a cordial request. If you can’t honor the request, always promise that you’ll visit them next time.
In case you are invited, you should attend the invitation otherwise there is a chance that your host will be humiliated. It is always good to show the respect and positive view toward the custom and practice of the host and behaves cordially with all people assembled there. If you wish you can take some gifts for the host but check if the gift is equal to his status.
Tipping is a Way of Life in Egypt
In Egypt, tipping is cordially accepted and often expected. You can offer tips for all the people who have helped you during your travel but do not offer them small coins or notes. These activities are taken as insulting to the people you have tipped. However, your tipping should be spontaneous and it is considered offensive otherwise. It is a good way to create some good impression on the people surrounding you. In this context, you should not ever attempt to offer tips for professionals or the people who are of your status. You can arrange some gifts for them as a gesture of friendship. But check if the gift is equal to his status.
Egyptian women are known for their exquisite beauty. Nowadays Egyptian ladies, in general, are well educated, groomed, and they are immersed in the professional world also. In Egyptian society, girls are well pampered by their parents until marriage establishes them in reality.
In Egyptian tradition, virginity is considered a prime value for women and therefore women do prefer keeping their modesty and virginity for as long as possible. Egyptian women maintain their modesty because men also respect ladies who are alert about their social prestige and modesty. Most Egyptian men prefer to get married to virginal women who believe in family values; however, there are several instances where Egyptian men have married non-Egyptian girls and they are quite different in their attitude than common Egyptian girls too.
Most of the girls in Egypt wear a scarf and it has become a common practice these days for young girls. This practice honors Muslim convention for ladies covering their heads, plus it is a stylish way to respect Islamic virtue of conservativeness.
In Egypt, women behave conservatively with strangers. They may use western wear and may manage businesses, but Egyptian women, mostly, maintain a sober approach where their social profile is presented. Many of Egyptian women are found involved in different professional activities with a good success rate in Egypt as well as in outside of Egypt. However, they are tend to keep a diligent obedience to their religious rites and customs.
More about Egypt women
Women Traveling Alone into Egypt:
Egypt is a completely safe place for women. Therefore, it is a safe travel destination for foreign tourist groups of women set to vacation in Egypt. It is always recommended that in case of any sort of problem, they should seek help from local shopkeepers or from police. However, it is always wise to dress properly and to walk on the street with a common and covered dress. Being indifferent to local men is a good way to avoid hassle and curiosity about foreign ladies traveling in this country. While planning a tour in Egypt, a woman traveling alone should care for Egyptian holidays because some of the buildings and places may remain closed on those days.
Places of Worship:
Places of worship are considered sacred places for Egyptians and therefore tourists from abroad should respect the serious mentality about the places of worship. For Muslims, these are called mosques and the places of worships for Christians are called churches. In Egypt, both mosques and churches are numerous.
People follow the rules of taking out their shoes before entering the sacred ground. Women and men are requested to cover up their bare heads and heads. It is always wise to use somber and covered dress, especially when visiting a mosque. Friday is considered the most sacred day of the week.
Egypt Holiday Calendar:
Both Business and religious community in Egypt run on a Western/Gregogian calendar but other calendars are widely honored in this country. The Islamic calendar is based on viewing religious formalities and the lunar cycle of 12 months of 29 or 30 days. The Muslim year is thus almost 11 days smaller than the Gregorian year according to the Gregorian calendar and months moving ahead. According to the Gregorian calendar, for example, April is the time of spring, but in the Muslim calendar entire cycle of months move through in a 33-year cycle.
The Coptic calendar is also called the Alexandrian calendar, and it is made on a solar cycle of 12 months of 30 days and 1 month of 5 days, respectively. Every four years a 6th day is added to the shorter month. Besides the Coptic Orthodox Church, farmers often follow the Coptic calendar for their date reminder, calculation, as well as counting of days.
Major Public holidays:
|1st day of Spring (2nd Monday after the Coptic Easter day)||It is called Sham El-Nessim day (Just avoid going out on this day to national parks and the zoo)|
|25th April||Sinai Liberation Day|
|1st May||Workers day|
|23rd July||1952 Revolution Day|
|6th October||Armed Forces Day, Victory Day 1973|
|13th October||Suez Liberation Day|
|23rd December||Victory Day|
|Eid El-Adha (Sacrifice feast )||Comes right after the pilgrimage season, it lasts for four days|
|Eid El-Fitr (Breakfast feast)||Comes right after the Holy fasting month of Ramadan|