Traditions and Cultures of Egypt
Egypt has a rich history and culture dating back thousands of years, starting with the Pharaonic culture, then Christianity and Islam. Egypt is among the earliest civilizations. Its culture has been affected by many other cultures and ethnic groups who either lived in or invaded the country, creating a melting pot.
The way the cultures blended together might be difficult for foreigners to understand, but once you do understand and appreciate the traditions, the experience in Egypt will be like none other.
Warmth and Hospitality
Egypt has amazing natural, historical and cultural attractions, so tourism is one of the main sources of income, especially before the revolution. Egyptians are friendly, open to other cultures and known for their good hospitality, so do not be surprised if people invite you to their homes and insist that you accept the invitation.
Egyptians also like to help people. It is very common if you ask someone for help or directions, they will call others to also help and make sure you get what you need or where you need to go.
When it comes to family affairs, family is very important for Egyptians so they pay special attention to family values and relationships. This great blend between family members encourages children to live with their parents until they get married and then start their own families. Therefore, marriage rates are high and families encourage and financially support their sons and daughters to get married.
Usually the responsibilities are divided so home and childcare are the main responsibilities for women, while men are responsible for supporting the family financially.
Since family members are so connected, they deeply mourn the death of a family member. It is customary to wear only black for at least 40 days after a family member passes, and this duration can last up to a year. This is one of the traditions inherited from the grand pharaohs, and it is considered inappropriate to show any sign of happiness during funerals. In contrast, Egyptians like to throw big wedding parties, where they invite all family members and friends and hold big feasts.
Speaking of parties, Egyptians love celebrations. Close and extended family members and friends gather during holidays and special celebrations.
Due to their love of food, all celebrations include sharing special meals prepared for the occasion. Women usually take pride in their ability to cook several dishes and compete among themselves for who makes the most delicious dishes. Restaurants are one of the most flourishing businesses as Egyptians like to try new cuisines and they appreciate a good meal.
Religion plays a big role in the life of Egyptians, and it is intermingled with daily activities of Muslims and Christians living in Egypt. You can see this clearly during Ramadan, Eids and Christmas, where festive spirits are everywhere.
Mosques are around every corner, so walking down the streets of Egyptian cities, you can hear the call to pray during the five prayer times per day.
Although Egyptians use the Western calendar, they refer to the Islamic calendar for Islamic religious holidays, and Ramadan is the most important month in the year. During this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, focusing on praying and doing charity work. Streets and homes are decorated to celebrate the occasion and special meals are prepared.
Egypt’s long history, tourist attractions and geographic location make it an ideal destination for business and tourism. But before you visit or develop an Arabic translation strategy for doing business in Egypt, it’s important to understand the culture and traditions and what impacts them.
Egypt has been prey to many invaders throughout history, and recently, due to economic and political problems, but Egyptians have a strong sense of humor and they find humor in everything, including themselves. This is what keep us going despite all hardships.