Customs and traditions
In Jordan, the vast majority of the
population is Muslim. Although far from everyone is
literate and other religions are allowed to operate
freely, Islam affects customs and customs in society.
And although, for example, the capital Amman is in many
ways a modern city, old customs and ways of thinking
remain beneath the surface of this rather
tradition-bound society. Remaining from the original
Bedouin community, among other things, is a great
hospitality to visitors as well as the strong family
Jordanians are often proud of their country and
culture. Therefore, it is highly appreciated if you as a
visitor have tried to read something in advance as well
as if you have learned some phrases in Arabic.
Punctuality is not as important as it is with us, but
most people, especially in the cities, still arrive on
time (maybe 5-15 minutes late).
Overview of the capital city of Jordan, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Know and label
Greeting is an important part of Jordanian culture
and most people take the time to make good health, both
when they meet someone or if they talk on the phone; you
hear, for example, about how the other person feels, how
it is with the family, etc. People of the same sex who
know each other can greet with a kiss, otherwise they
shake hands. However, a man should not shake hands with
a woman first, but wait until she (possibly) stretches
out her hand. Otherwise it is polite to take each one in
hand when leaving a company. A common greeting phrase is
ahlan wa sahlan (which really means "welcome" but can
also mean "goodbye" or "hello").
Most Jordanians enjoy talking and discussing, much
and lively, and they like to joke. However, getting into
political discussions (which the Jordanians themselves
often do) with someone you do not know so well can be
sensitive, but talking about family and family is
something that always fits. Especially important is to
avoid discussions of Middle East politics with people
you don't know.
Just like in Sweden, you take off your shoes before
entering anyone's home (and in mosques). Sitting so you
show the soles of the feet to others is considered
unfair. You do not use your left hand to hand over
something to anyone or when you are eating - it is only
used for toilet visits. However, one comes a long way
with common sense and a smile in his interaction with
the Jordanians, who also mostly look with humor and
indulgence on if a visitor "makes a mistake".
It is usually much appreciated if you bring with
them, for example, baklava (sweet pastry) or the like
when you visit someone, or rather some small souvenir
from their own country. Wine or spirits should not be
given as a gift in this Muslim country. A woman should
not give presents to a man as this can be taken as an
Most meetings usually start in the agreed time (or
slightly late), but it is important to set aside a lot
of time in the beginning to talk about other than
business - it is considered very unfair to go directly
into negotiations. Tell us what you have seen and done
in Jordan (without criticizing), feel free to ask about
your family's counterpart and tell about your own over
the cup of coffee or tea that is certainly offered.
Formally greet someone you meet the first time and let
the person decide if you should remove the titles.
Even those who are not Muslim should refrain from
eating, drinking and smoking in public during the day
during the fasting month of Ramadan (see below).
Most meals consist of rice and pita bread as a base.
Then you add yogurt and cheese, vegetables like olives,
tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant, and fruits like
apricots, apples, bananas, melons and oranges -
depending on the season - and meat like lamb or chicken.
Muslims do not eat pork and do not drink alcohol. The
main meal is often eaten in the afternoon. If you become
a home invite to someone - not uncommon in hospitable
Jordan - you should remember that it is polite to wash
your hands before eating and to accept yes to what is
being offered (but you can say no first, with your right
hand over your heart, so that the host may be trough).
You should always leave some food on the plate. Don't go
home until you've had a cup of coffee on the food. And
don't forget not to eat with your left hand!
Jordanians, both women and men, are quite formal and
neat when it comes to clothing. Visitors should also be
careful not to dress too challenging (especially women).
Businessmen, at least in the cities, have a suit, but
pants and a shirt without a tie can work well in the
workplace. Some men wear the traditional red-white or
black-and-white turban to Western attire. Women can wear
a skirt (over the knee) or long trousers, preferably
long-sleeved but not ringed, but prefer to wear jewelry.
Some Jordanian women wear shawls, but all-Muslim
clothing is unusual. It's OK to wear shorts or swimwear
at the beach (but not otherwise).
Holidays and symbols
The most important holidays are the Muslim ones. Each
year, they fall on different dates according to the
Western era because they follow the Islamic calendar
(otherwise, in Jordan, the "regular" calendar is
followed). During the Ramadan, which takes place during
the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a faithful
Muslim is to abstain from food, drink, sex and
cigarettes during the day (one of Islam's five sacred
duties) and most at least partially follow this. After
sunset it is free to eat, drink etc as much as you want,
and often you eat more and better than usual. During the
Ramadan, some stores and others may have limited opening
hours and many government officials work part-time.
Ramadan ends with a big party, id al-fitr, a family
holiday celebrated with particularly festive food,
Other Muslim holidays are the Muslim New Year, the
birthday of the Prophet and the sacrificial feast of
id-al-adha, which is celebrated in memory of Allah
letting Ibrahim (the Bible of Abraham) release his son
Isaac. It also marks the end of the hajj, the pilgrimage
to Mecca in Saudi Arabia (another of the sacred duties
of devout Muslims). Many pilgrims travel to Mecca via
In addition to the Muslim holidays, there are a
number of other holidays, both religious and
non-religious, such as Christmas Day, New Year's Day,
Good Friday, May 1st and Independence Day (May 25), when
many are vacant and much can be closed.
On May 25, the Jordanian flag is also visible
everywhere. It has three equally wide stripes in black,
white and green (the colors represent different
caliphates). On the left is a red triangle (the triangle
denotes the great Arab uprising of 1916) and in it there
is a white star with seven tips, which stands for the
seven verses in the first acid of the Qur'an (chapter).
The flag can be seen on the introduction page for Jordan
in the Country Guide.
On May 25, the national anthem, al-salam al-Malaki
al-Urduni (Long Live the King of Jordan) is also played.
You can hear it here: