Culture of Eastern Arabia
There is a rich and ancient culture in Eastern Arabia. The culture in this region has always been oriented towards the sea.[1]
Windcatchers, called Barjeel in local dialect, in Souq Waqif, Doha
The semiannual tradition of Qarqe'an (قرقيعان) is deeply rooted in Gulf culture. The Eastern Arabian cuisine includes seafood (including mahyawa), harees, khubz and biryani. Other cultural features of the region include windcatchers (Badgeer) and Dewaniya.
A dhow, a common item depicting the culture of seafaring in Eastern Arabia. It is displayed in the coat of arms of Kuwait and Qatar.
A Majlis in the United Arab Emirates. Majlis forms the unit of social gathering in Arab culture.
Cultures in the region include those of Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Eastern Saudi Arabia (Qatif and Al-Hasa), Qatar, and Northern Oman.
See also: Gargee'an
Qarqe'an is an semiannual celebration, observed in Eastern Arabia, that takes place on the 15th night of Sha'ban and on the 15th night of Ramadan. Qarqe'an is marked with children dressing in traditional attire and going door-to-door to receive sweets from neighbours, whilst also singing traditional songs. The tradition has existed for hundreds of years and deeply rooted in Gulf culture.[2]
Although the celebration of Qarqe'an shares superficial similarities with the Halloween custom of trick-or-treating, practiced in some western countries, Qarqe'an has no connection with horror and no associated origin with Halloween.
A variety of music and dance forms are practised in the region, including Fijiri, Fann At-Tanbura, Sawt, contemporary Khaliji music, Yowla and Liwa.
Musical instruments
Traditional instruments include the Oud, along with a variety of drums and the manjur. The Tanbūra lyre is also used.
A number of different dialects of Arabic are spoken in the region, including Gulf Arabic and Bahrani Arabic. The Lurs language of Kumzari is also spoken by Omani people of Musandam Peninsula. Kumzari is the only Iranian language native to the Arab world.
See also: Eastern Arabian cuisine
Due to the seafaring nature of the Arabs along the eastern Arabian coast, seafood forms the major part of the cuisine of the region. Camel meat and milk also forms a basic staple for all the population, most prominently for bedouins who used to usually breed and sell camels to the rest of the population. Dates are usually consumed as snacks in between meals or offered to guests alongside Arabic coffee in the majlis. Other basic meals are rice and meat, chicken, and strained yogurt. Seafood diet is various with multiple ways to prepare fish for consumption. Squids, oysters, crabs, as well as shrimps all form basic staple food for the coastal Arabs. Harees is also a popular dish in the majority of eastern Arabian households.[3]
A khanjar, a commonly worn dagger in Oman (c. 1924)
The dress of the region includes long Thobe (also called Dishdasha) for men, Bisht and Ghutra.
Traditional transport in the region includes boats such as Dhows and Abras.
Other cultural features
Other cultural features of the region include Qarqe'an, Badgeer wind towers, Bukhoor and Dewaniya.
  1. ^ "Iranians in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates". Eric Andrew McCoy. pp. 67–68.
  2. ^ "القرقاعون من أهم الاحتفالات الرمضانية الشعبية في مملكة البحرين". Bahrain News Agency. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  3. ^ Charles Perry, "Cooking with the Caliphs", Saudi Aramco World 57:4 (July/August 2006) full text
Last edited on 6 May 2021, at 16:14
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