Palestinians have a unique culture, just like every other community around the world. In talking about their culture, one has to look at their traditions as well as the social customs that govern daily interactions. It’s worth noting that the country acquired its name from the Romans who invaded the land in the 2nd Century C.E. For this reason, one expects the culture to feature a bit of stuff from the Romans. Nevertheless, this article focuses on some of Palestine’s most prominent cultural beliefs, which define how they live, socialize, learn, worship, and work.
In talking about the Palestine cultural beliefs, reference has to be made to the people’s social stratification too. What you will notice about this place is the division into classes and castes. A perfect example of this appears around West Bank. Here, you will see the Jewish settlements divided from everything else. The Palestinians and Jews don’t live in the same settlements or places. For this reason, you are likely to find the places where the Jews inhabited and frequent filled with all the best stuff, which include:
- Shopping facilities
Because of this anomaly, the Palestinians resent the Jews. Nevertheless, elite Palestinians are also renowned for the privilege they enjoy. For example, you will see them donning all the fine attire. It’s worth remembering that many Palestinians lived outside their country for years. They then returned to the land following the Oslo Accords of 1993. These people came back with a great deal of wealth, which they continue to flaunt to their fellow countrymen and women who are not as financial secure.
Additionally, the Palestinian cultural beliefs have divided gender roles clearly. Therefore, you will encounter many men – and women – who believe that a woman’s place is right in the home. Because of this, women often have to focus on house chores or work in the local cottage industries. On top of that, women who wear Western-style dresses are unlikely to earn much admiration within the society. What is clear here is that the status of men vis-à-vis women follows the pattern of all Arabic culture, which expects women to wear:
- Long jacket-like dresses
- Traditional Muslim jilbabs
- Scarves for covering the hair
In Palestine, marriage is traditionally between men and women. Typically, you would expect to find most married men with more than three wives. However, the situation is different in Palestine where they mostly restrict themselves to 1-2 wives. Additionally, men always approach the families of the women they wish to marry, before getting engaged, knowing one another, and preparing for their weddings. Other than that, most households host extended families too and married children have no problem staying with their parents either.
Palestinians have one of the highest birth rates in the world. They love their children and proudly take great care of them. Infant boys go through circumcision, which is often a period of great celebration. Cultural centers abound at all learning levels, which are predominantly organized under Egyptian and Jordanian systems of education in Gaza and West Bank respectively. Regardless of a person’s socialization, all men are required to greet each other with a handshake. For their part, the culture expects women to kiss one another on the cheeks.
Religion is an important part of the cultural beliefs of the Palestinians. Islam and Muslim are the most predominant religious group in the country. In fact, they make up 75% of the population. For this reason, it is little wonder that Islamic practices are the most prevalent everywhere you go around the country. Locals go to the mosque from where they receive their weekly sermons from Imams, who are their spiritual leaders. Religion also plays a crucial role in a person’s death. Each death is followed by a 3-day mourning period and an anniversary after 40 days. .