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Jordan Briefing Paper - Article Example

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The Arab world has created a distinct identity of its own with a diversified culture, religion and a peculiar lifestyle. Jordan is part of the Arab region and it respects its traditions and religiously varied populace, subsequently providing for the cultural rights of all its residents…
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Download file to see previous pages In this paper, we shall discuss various aspects of the Jordan culture which will enlighten us about this country’s social, economic, religious and political scenario. Elements of Traditional Arab Culture observed in Jordan Jordan has various elements of the traditional Arab culture indebted in its roots. The bulk of the population being Muslims they believe in the religion of Islam as the other Arabs. Both the social as well as political system of this region follows the extended patriarchal family structure where the Sheikh or head of the family is chosen on the basis of their lineage, wealth and the will of their personalities. According to the system, the eldest son of the Sheikh succeeds to the throne after his father’s death. Even today in Jordan, the camel breeders are considered to be on the supreme level in the society as per the traditional Arab culture. Moreover, they follow the old Arab custom of marrying a person from within the family since anyone outside their clan is considered to be inferior by the traditional clans. Although the Jordanians are much more liberal in their thoughts as compared to the other Arab countries, still they are very conservative regarding women’s clothing. The traditional Arab culture where women are required to cover themselves from head to toe as well as wearing of veils is still mandatory in Jordan. In addition, the practice of the separation of sexes is virtually followed in all the places in Jordan till today (Chmidt, n.d). Extent of Influence of Westernization and Modernization on Traditional Arab Culture Lot of changes has occurred in all aspects of the Jordanian society under the influence of Westernization and Modernization. Even though the Arab culture endorses the highest level of conservatism, Jordan is far more broad-minded especially where women are concerned who enjoy considerable liberty as compared to women in other Arab countries. The female gender enjoys the freedom to complete education, the right to vote, to drive cars and often hold vital positions in business and politics. In the urban areas, women enjoy greater equality and freedom than in the past, though the traditional practices still dominate their lives. Furthermore, Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol as per Islam however it is available in most of the restaurants and pubs in Jordan. Moreover, the growing number of educated urban youths has started believing in individualism preferring to set up their own households instead of residing with their parents. This has led to the shift in the trend from extended families to nuclear households in this country. In addition, westernization has led the Jordanian youths to alienate from their traditional cultures (The Library of Congress Country Studies, 1989a). Cultural Sensitivities of the Country As we know that Jordanians are far liberal than their neighbors but they do have certain reservations which visitors needs to keep in mind when they are touring this country. They are conservative where women’s clothing is concerned; all the local women are supposed to wear attires which cover their arms, legs and hair. Though western women and tourists are not subject to so much restriction but very revealing clothes are never apposite and conventional clothing is advisable for both men and women in Amman and outside the cities. Moreover, topless bathing is barred and one piece swimsuits are recommended although two piece swimsuits can be worn at ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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