If you are very lucky and you read fairy tales “Thousand and One Night”, you would learned about the “fragrant pearl Maghreb.” That’s why the book is called Tunisia. This small country is bright star in the Arabic world. It is washed by the warm and gentle waters of the Mediterranean Sea, there are many flower beds, gardens, fountains, shops with exciting “fragrances” in the cities and you can see sand roses in the desert.
Tunisia is a Muslim country. Here ancient Arab traditions and achievements of modern life intricately intertwined, here Europe meets nith Africa. The President rules the country by his iron hand in the velvety glove as people say. So Tunisia is a very quiet country.
Tunisian traditions are interesting and unusual. Let’s talk about them.
Tunisian traditions don’t prohibit freely communicate men with women. If a man likes a girl, he can meet with her. He needs only to extend her sprig of jasmine. If a man is luckied, she will take the flowers. She must be attenn tive, because jasmine can tell a lot. In Tunisians there is strange but symbolic tradition. Only men wear behind their ear sprig of jasmine. The married one wears behind the right ear and the bachelors wear behind the left ear. But a girl must be very careful, because it happens that even a married man can wear jasmine behind the left ear.
Getting to know young people can go to the wedding. The Koran does not solve this question. So, every Muslim country has its own traditions. There are many of them in Tunisia.
Wedding is an important and responsible thing. These the traditions and rules exist in this rite. Relatives have to come in an expensive national clothes. The bride at a wedding – wear sa yashmak. Of course, then she will not wear it. A lot of gold jewelry on it her is also their tradition. If there will be little, one all people will laugh about the groom at the wedding. According their rule the gold must not be less than three kilograms. Therefore that’s why the groom falls his beloved sweet heart by jewels. Maybe, because Tunisian men are not sad very long time when they can have several wives.
The wedding lasts seven days. Any actions happen at the wedding every day. At the first day of since above all the wedding the bride with his friends and his relatives go to the notary. He has to sign a very important document, without what he will not get a marriage certificate. This is his marriage contract. The visits accompan of a notary are accompanied by the 1st reading verses of the Koran. Everybody congratulate the groom. But bride waits for the notary at home. She does not go to the notary the main duty of the notary is come to her home. It is interesting to know that during the whole wedding newly married couple do not see each other. Each of them celebrate it with their relatives and guests at home.
But for girls it is a very important period: she is prepared for a new life. During these ceremonies she dresses up four times. Her paims and soles are smeared by henna, her body is painted by henna too. Because henna symbolizes prosperity and protection against damage. A very good tradition is the parting of a young girl with her parent’s house. For it specially is invited masht band that sing songs. Her mother shines the way by candles and the bride goes around her house.
And finally it is the long awaited meeting for newlyweds. They can celebrate the wedding and eat the favourite traditional wedding dish couscous.
There is another interesting tradition in Tunisians. Near the mosques you can see the unusual buildings. In fact that believers need purified before their prayer. And they do it in the hammam. Also, Tunisians can wash here because they want to be clean. And, they can meet with their friends and talk about interesting topics. If it is not enough, they will do, massage or aromatic clay mask, or is colored with henna in hammam. Strangely that men and women visit the Turkish bath separately. The first one do it from the morning to the afternoon, the second one do it fron the evening until the sunset.
You can see unusual “calls” on the bloors. When you go for a walk narrow streets of Tunis. They just remind women’s fate. This is so-called lucky hand of Fatima, which should protect against the evil eye, to be a talisman for the family.
Tunisia is striked its unusual attitude to women. Men and women are equal.
It is really strange, because this is a Muslim country. Many Islamic traditions are prohibited. Especially it attitude to a family law. The new attitude to a woman enshrined in laws. No one can compel her to wear the veil. Only she decides to wear it or not. But now men can not have several wives. Because not they are maintained difficult, the law prohibits it. For it they can get into a prison. But if the family disintegrates, the law is on the side of woman here. A man wants or does not want, he must hold former wife, giving her a part of his incomes.
And the woman behind the wheel can not be afraid to break the rules. Police simply do not have the right to stop and impose a fine. Women have participated in elections yet and can get a good education.
When in the evenings men sit in the cafes, sip a hookah, their women sit at home and do everything about the house. Tunisians like such a collective “gatherings,” and they love their women, but they are not invited here. Well, if you still consider yourself a real man, you will have to wear a tidy beard and mustache.
Women like long wide dresses, men like white or color shirts, but the girls prefer pants and jackets with embroidery. And that they are not dressed, but the clothes have to be nice, bright and elegant. Tunisians like point their hair, palms , soles , feet and even nails by henna. Many of them can have the tattoo.
Generally Tunisians are very friendly people. And we see it in a strange for Europeans, but for them the usual form of greeting. They usually embrace easily pats each other on the shoulders and back when they meet. They Greeting, shake hands and says “Salam Aleykum” when they greet. Then they worship, bring your right hand to his forehead, then to his lips and then to the heart: “I’m thinking about you, I’m speaking about you, I respect you.”
Unusually for us, that they call each other “you”. Only the president deserves respectful “You”.
State religion of Tunisia is Islam. It had a huge impact on the cultural traditions, rites and customs of the people. So a Muslim must observe some duties: to believe in one God Allah, to pray five times a day, to fast during Ramadan, to carry out at least once a pilgrimage to Mecca and pay the religious tax. Tunisians like celebrating Ras al-Am, Miaradzh (Ascension), Ramadan, Eid al-Sehyr and Eid al-Kebir.
Here it is Tunisia. It is an unique country with interesting and unusual traditions and rules. I would like to Finish the story about this “fragrant pearl of Maghreb” by words of famous actress Claudia Cardinale, she was born in Tunisia: “Africa … it is almost a prayer. The prayer is reminded by its silence, its sunsets, its sky that seems closer than we have, so that the stars and the moon are so clear, bright and clean and shine stronger there.”