Thursday, October 09, 2014

Culture congruence

Understanding the culture of another people is a very difficult task and one must go deep into the psyche of these individuals if one wishes to make head or tail of what is happening around one. I have been among the village Bedouin folk of Saudi Arabia since three years, and even now, I find it difficult to sometimes pick up the nuances of a conversation. The way Saudis greet each other when they first meet in the morning is a sight to watch! They are very animated. They touch  cheeks against each others' are a cheeks, and make a pecking sound with their lips; next, they embark on a "Good Morning" and "How are you and yours" for the next several minutes, repeating the above 2 phrases to each other so many times that I used to think they had gone plumb mad!

After nearly two minutes of repetitive effusive greetings, they will then shake hands, and get to the topic on hand. This behaviour is universal among adult males, regardless of their age, social status, etc. 

Yet another major issue is the level of disinterest one must show towards females. This is  not only a hijaab issue; it touches upon the way men and women must socialise when in public. And that is where we are totally deficient.

More later. Thanks for reading! 

1 comment:

Rc said...

Taher Bhai,
nice write up. Eagerly waiting for
next installment.