Customs and Traditions of Egypt
Population and religion
According to Countryaah, the vast majority of the population of Egypt refers to the Arabized descendants of the ancient Egyptians. Among ethnic minorities there are Nubians, Bedouins and nomadic tribes.
More than 90% of the population of Egypt professes Islam, there are Copts in the country – Christians. The Muslim faith has a great influence on customs, etiquette and generally accepted norms of behavior. A tourist who is going to visit Egypt, it is advisable to know the mandatory minimum of them.
In Egypt, they speak one of the Arabic dialects, the official language is “high” Arabic. The Egyptians write from right to left, but the numbers are written in the same way as ours – from left to right.
Many residents of cities and resort centers can speak English, some speak French. In resorts where many Russian tourists stay (for example, in Hurghada), in hotels, restaurants and shops, there are service personnel who also speak Russian. Check agooddir for recent history of Egypt.
In large resorts, road signs and street names are often duplicated in several languages.
Some gestures, not quite familiar to Europeans, are considered common among Egyptians. They greet, as a rule, by the hand, but the tourist should not allow the Arab to stroke his hand or back, because this can be regarded as a reason to continue the acquaintance. The initiative of conversation and an open smile is also considered an encouragement to continue the relationship.
According to local customs, numerous touches and hugs are considered the norm, this does not always correspond to European concepts of the rules of decency.
If an Egyptian man shows the way to a man, he may take the questioner by the hand.
If the Egyptian shakes his head from side to side, then this means that he did not understand the question.
Separation of the sexes
Foreign tourists in Egypt should be careful.
Women should not enter remote areas of cities without a male escort.
Please note that at bus stops, women usually stand next to other women. On public transport, women must also sit next to other women. For example, in the subway for women, the first car is usually assigned.
It should be remembered that a man who talks to an unfamiliar Muslim woman violates etiquette, is condemned and should be severely punished.
If an unmarried couple is traveling, they may be denied some services, such as not being given a joint room.
It happens that tourists dressed in European fashion are misunderstood by the local population. In order not to attract too much attention to yourself, it is advisable to dress conservatively. For example, you can focus on classic business attire or a tracksuit.
You have to be very careful with revealing clothes. In hotels, tourists can dress as they like, but when going out into the city, you need to know that short, open and tight clothes, in particular shorts, are considered unacceptable.
Tourists of both sexes are required to wear clothing that covers their shoulders. It is advisable to always have a hat with you.
Rules for visiting mosques
Most of the largest mosques in Egypt are open to the public during services. The most important service is held on Friday at noon. Any visitor to the mosque must take off their shoes. She is left at the threshold or carried with her in her left hand. It is also necessary to cover open arms and head with something.
National Egyptian holidays:
January 1 – New Year.
February 22, April 25 – Sinai Liberation Day in the October War 1973
May 1 is Labor Day.
June 18 – Anniversary of the withdrawal of British troops from Egypt.
July 23 – Anniversary of the Revolution of 1952
September 23 – Victory Day over Israel in 1956
October 6 – Anniversary of the crossing of the Suez Canal.
October 24 – Day of the entry of the Egyptian army into Suez in 1973.
December 23 – Day of the entry of the Egyptian army into Port Said in 1956.