Saudi Arabia, a desert country is officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is situated in Western Asia. It encompasses most of the Arabian Peninsula, with Red Sea and Persian Gulf coastlines. It has given the status of “Birthplace of Islam”. The area of Saudi Arabia is about 830,000 square miles. In Asia, geographically the fifth largest state is Saudi Arabia and after Algeria, it is the second largest state in Arab world. Its neighboring countries include Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, and United Arab Emirates.
Culture depicts the way of life that has adopted by a nation. Knowledge, belief, art, laws, aspects, morals, tradition and customs collectively shows the Nation’s culture. Saudi Arabia is rich in its culture. Customs of Saudi Arabia is very old which often derived from Arab civilization.
Being a Muslim country, the state religion of Saudi Arabia is Islam. The most sacred and worthy places here are Mecca and Madina which are the cradle of Islam. It is one of the Islamic countries having religious police who take decisions in the light of Sharia.
Lunar calendar (Islamic calendar) is used here in daily routine instead of solar calendar. Business and shops are closed three to four times a day for the workers for 30 to 45 minutes to offer their prayers. As Friday is the holiest day for Muslims, so the weekend here is Friday and Saturday and their Sunday is not off. Only two religious holidays were publically recognized for a long period of time. These holidays include Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. “The biggest” holiday, Eid-ul-Fitr is a three day period of gift-giving, feasting and general letting go.
The cuisine of the country is similar to the cuisine of surrounding Arabian Peninsula countries and is influenced by Persian, Indian, Turkish and African food. Being Muslim country Islamic dietary laws are applied like pork is prohibited and other animals are slaughter according to the Halal method. The Arabian cuisine has a wide range of dishes consisting of a stuffed lamb known as “Khuzi” which is also the traditional national dish of the country. A variety of kababs is popular and Shwarma which is marinated grilled meat dish of chicken, mutton or lamb. Shwarma is an eminent dish and is liked equally in many countries. “Kabsa”, a rice dish with fish or shrimp is also very notorious. Dates and fresh fruits are quite necessary after every meal. Coffee which is served in the Turkish style is the traditional beverage.
The national sport of Saudi Arabia is football. Scuba diving, sailing, basket ball, and windsurfing are very popular games in the country played by both men and women. The traditional sport such as camel racing became kernel in 1970s. The annual king’s camel race which was begun in 1974 is one of the most important sports contest and it attracts animals and riders throughout the region.
The dressing in the country is in accordance with the principles of Islam. Women used to wear Hijabs while men usually wear a white ankle length garment woven from wool or cotton which is known as “Thawb”.
Education is free at all levels. The school system is comprised of elementary, intermediate and secondary schools. The larger part of the curriculum is based on Islam and at the secondary level student are free to choose either a religious or a technical track.
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