Traditions and Customs of The Jewish Culture Essay
1007 Words5 Pages
There are many different cultures that surround us everyday; each one with its own unique customs and lifestyles. The Jewish culture contains some of the oldest traditions and customs that date back thousands of years. This culture has survived everything from exile to almost being diminished during the Holocaust. The Jewish culture has a unique culture, that has much to share with the world around them. Unlike some cultures, the Jewish are very open to others. Their general attitude is that they are above no one. The Jewish culture believes it is very important to be open, good hearted, and considerate to those around ("Culture and Customs"). The Jewish also have many different greetings they use in their everyday lives. The most common…show more content…
Making sure utensils do not get mix together when making meat or dairy products is also important in the Jewish culture. While the Jewish diet is very strict in its details, the personal appearance has somewhat looser constraints. Most Jewish people dress in what is considered normal attire (such as jeans and regular shirts). However, when attending religious services, men are required to war a “kippah” (head covering), and women must wear long skirts ("Culture and Customs"). As can be seen, while the diet of the Jewish culture may hold stricter requirements, the dress of the culture is almost equivalent to that of the Western society. Language is required in any culture for proper communication. There are two major languages associated with the Jewish culture; Hebrew and Yiddish. In today's world Hebrew is mostly reserved for prayer and religious services, while Yiddish is the most common for everyday language ("Intermarriage Q&A"). Examples of Hebrew words are aba (father) or meytav halchulim (best wishes), and one may hear Yiddish words such as feh! (disgust) or kvetsh (complain). Language may be important for communication, but religion is the true center of the Jewish culture. The
As the country develops and Westernizes, many modern changes can be noted in the people living in major cities such as Rabat, Casablanca and Tangier, while Fes and Marrakesh maintain the traditions of old world Morocco. In smaller towns and rural areas a much different lifestyle exists, and it can be hard to believe that in a country a little larger than the size of California, such a difference exists. In the cities, you will find cars, buses, and taxis making the streets noisy and busy while tall buildings penetrate the skyline. Yet, in the rural areas a camel or donkey is the mode of transportation among the small houses and farmlands or dessert landscapes. The convenience of cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores are nonexistent in these places and people often rely on trading goods rather than purchasing them.
The people of Morocco are kind, warm, and well known around the world for their hospitality. A Moroccan, after having just met you, will invite you to his home for a feast of all they have to give, even if they are of meager means. They value building personal relationships, and want to help others for the sake of it, not always for their own personal gain. Family is important to Moroccans and you will often find extended family gathering for meals, tea, and visits. Moroccans will often ask you about the health and well-being of your own family, even if they have never met them. They have a genuine interest in concern for other people. Personal honor and respect is most important to Moroccans so crossing these lines can quickly turn a valuable relationship sour almost immediately.
As modern as Morocco becomes, some old traditions and ways of life live strong among the fancy cars and clothes of the Western world. Such traditions are the souks where goods and sometimes services are sold, and also sometimes traded. Although there are many department stores in the cities selling groceries, clothes, and household items, many people prefer to buy from their local souk vendors than at the major chains stores. Bargaining and purchasing needed items for trusted vendors is a way of life, and everything needed is purchased at a more reasonable price than the brightly lit stores.
Another such custom is a weekly trip to the local hammam where Moroccans spend a great deal of time exfoliating their skin, washing their hair and bodies thoroughly in no particular rush. The large bath houses separated by men’s and women’s quarters are steamy rooms where many people socialize as much as they bathe. For those who don’t have a shower in their house, the hammam is not only a way of life but a necessity. Even those living in large apartments with modern amenities still visit the local hammams on a regular basis.
Additionally, Morocco is still a male dominated society, although the government is working hard to maintain and advance the rights of women and children. There are still places such as tea cafes where the presence of women is not welcome, and other places such as the courthouses where men and women are still expected to sit on opposite sides of the room.
The modernization of Morocco continues as technology flourishes, free-trade agreements open, and the people embrace the conveniences of the Western world. Running hot water, seated toilets, televisions and satellite dishes, home appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, side by side refrigerators, vehicles, computers, and cell phones are the things we easily take for granted as a way of life. However, these things are still reserved for the rich and have a long way to go before anyone will ever be able to take them for granted in Morocco.