Culture encompasses a wide variety of social behaviours, beliefs, customs, traditions and language. In short, it is the 'way of life' of individual groups of people. It defines our social habits and etiquette, our values and attitudes, our philosophies, our style of dress, our cuisine, our music and arts, architecture and literature.
Qatari culture, like all others, is influenced by their history and their place in the modern world. Traditional Bedouin culture is ingrained in the Qatari way of life, as is the influence of the sea, which sustained their ancestors for generations. Islam, in a Muslim-majority country, is also deeply entwined with Arab culture. And, in modern times, with Qatar's rapid globalisation and the cultural diversity brought by expatriate workers, a new wave of cultural norms are being generated and incorporated by the nation.
Qatari's, though open to change, are keen to maintain their traditions and heritage, and they work hard to preserve them. Qatar's Bedouin roots and the faith of the nation can be seen in the country's architecture, both modern and traditional; in the patterns and symbols that adorn so many surfaces and furnishings; in traditional sports; as well as arts and crafts, music and clothing. It can be observed in the Arabic language, and the laws and customs that govern everyday life. And, it can be seen in the many festivals and events held throughout the year to celebrate the nation's culture.
For visitors to the region and residents of the country, there are a myriad of fun ways to see and experience Qatari and Arab culture in Qatar. However, it is also important to respect the nation's customs and traditions, especially those conceived under Islamic law. For an opportunity to delve into Qatari culture, and to boff-up on the correct etiquette, check out the links below.
The influence of ancient Bedouin tribes, seafaring pearl divers, Islam, the Arab world and even expatriates, are all reflected in Qatari culture.
Qatar is a modern metropolis, peaceable and tolerant of others. However, visitors are asked to respect the nation's traditions and values. Read on to ensure you're familiar with local customs.