The Culture of Oman is as rich and exotic as the country itself. From the architecture of its impressive forts and castles to the garments worn by its people, everything about this small Arab nation is steeped in tradition and culture. Cultures all over the world are constantly evolving and changing. New ideas, principles, and beliefs are born from an amalgamation of older ones. These changes don't occur overnight; they happen slowly over time as new generations are born with new thoughts and ways of life. The Culture of Oman has been shaped by many factors over the years, so let's look at some examples that you might find surprising!
One surprising thing about the Omani culture is that, historically, women have enjoyed a higher status and more power than in most other countries. This has been the case for centuries and remains to some degree today, although many social and economic factors have influenced the situation in recent years. Women in Oman traditionally owned property were entitled to a divorce and had the right not to marry if they chose not to. They could also inherit, be educated, and even rule the country. Today, Omani women have many rights, including freedoms of choice and occupation, unavailable in many other Middle Eastern states. For example, they are active in government, business, education, and the arts. Their literacy rate is among the highest in the Arab world. Women can be found in every profession and walk of life, including the police force, the military, and even the country's parliament, where they hold 9 out of the total 84 seats.
Food is essential to any culture and country, and Oman is no exception. Omanis have some very traditional dishes that have been popular across the land for centuries. - Baljur, a mixture of yogurt, chili, garlic, and lime juice, is eaten as an appetizer or snack. - Al Hoot is a spicy seafood soup with fish heads, fish bones, and seafood such as clams, mussels, prawns, and crabs. - Sawm is the fasting month in the Islamic calendar, but it also refers to the typical fish and vegetable meal eaten during this month. - Baqala is a traditional Omani dish of meat and rice cooked in a clay pot. - Cha'a is a dish of tea with spices and herbs. - Ghubar is a meat and rice dish. - Khubz Omani pita bread is served with many dishes, including Sawm. - Mabshoor, a hot breakfast dish of eggs, tomatoes, onions, and spices. - Maasoof is a meal of meat and rice. - Makali, a dish of fish and rice. - Makloubi is a dish of eggplant, tomatoes, and herbs. - Malu'wa is a traditional Omani dish with meat, rice, and almonds. - Markook bread baked in a clay pot. - Mizboukh is a hot breakfast dish of eggs, tomatoes, onions, and spices. - Mujaddarah is a dish of rice or vermicelli, lentils, and spices. - Sabsa is a fish, tomatoes, onions, herbs, and spices dish. - Seree a dish of fish, herbs, and spices. - Sharri is a hot drink made with tea and spices. - Shorbat Omani soup. - Turshi is a hot breakfast dish of eggs, tomatoes, onions, and spices.
Air travel is growing in popularity worldwide, and many people fly between countries yearly. In Oman, the national airline is called Oman Air, and it offers flights to many cities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. In addition to this, Muscat International Airport is the region's busiest airport by international passenger traffic and offers connections to many destinations. A network of highways links the country, and many different modes of transport are available between the towns and cities. Visitors can travel by bus or taxi or hire a car and driver.
The capital city of Muscat is famous worldwide as the gateway to Oman. It's a thriving, vibrant port city with a modern edge and lots to see and do. The city is spread across several hills, with the bustling city center on top of the highest hill. Visitors arriving by cruise ship will dock at the Port of Muscat. They can then explore the city on foot, by taxi or car, or by taking the public bus. The city includes many landmarks, mosques, and museums, such as the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Omani Heritage Museum, the Royal Opera House, and the Oman and Gulf Civilizations Museum. There are also many bustling markets where visitors can browse for souvenirs and gifts.
The architecture of the Omani people is one of the most fascinating aspects of their culture. From the ancient forts that dot the landscape to the traditional houses where Omanis live, there are many fascinating examples of architecture in Oman. The forts are critical architectural landmarks, as are the old mosques. Some of these date back centuries, such as the Al Alam Mosque, which dates back to the 10th century. The traditional houses in Oman are built with a framework of palm tree leaves and wooden beams. They are built on a slope so the roof can catch the breeze and act as a natural cooling system. They are very simple dwellings and have few modern comforts, but they are a fascinating insight into the architecture of Oman.
Learning about a new country's cultural beliefs and practices is interesting. Omanis, like many other cultures, believe in spirits and supernatural entities. They keep friendly relations with the jinn, or genies, who are present in all corners of nature. They also believe in ghouls, or evil spirits that live in the desert and attack people and animals. Winds are also believed to be jinn that have the power to carry diseases from one place to another.
Similarly, the rainwater is believed to be a source of water for the jinn to drink and wash themselves. Omanis also believe in al-yad, or the evil eye, which is supposed to be cast on certain people by others who envy them. The Omani people are very religious, and Islam is the country's official religion. Most people in Oman are Muslims, and Friday is the weekly holy day when most people go to the mosque to pray. Visitors to Oman will notice that the mosques are bustling places, with people praying and reading the Koran, the holy book of Islam.
The Culture of Oman is fascinating and rich with tradition. The country and its people are a great place to visit and experience the magic and charm of Arabian culture firsthand. From the architecture to the food and customs, Oman is a unique destination worth visiting!