Judaism has a long history in Yemen with several sources indicating that the biblical King Solomon sent Jews to Yemen to search for silver and gold. Several synagogues were constructed during the rule of the Himyaritic Kingdom. Many of the Jews in Yemen fled after a rebellion broke out in the country. Christianity also has a noticeable presence in Yemen. Festivals are a significant part of Yemen's culture, and they usually attract vast numbers of tourists. Another popular festival is the Sana'a Summer Festival which usually lasts for an entire month.
The Bab al-Yemen carnival, held at the start of the celebration, is one of the most popular attractions during the festivities. The food served in Yemen has been influenced by some foreign societies such as the Indians and the Ottomans. Indian influence is particularly common in meals prepared in the country's southern region while foods prepared in the northern region of Yemen have a distinctive Ottoman influence. Kitchen in Yemen have some similar features, but one of the essential ones is a circular clay oven necessary for preparing Yemeni flatbread which is typically eaten with saltah.
Although saltah is the most well-known Yemeni dish, it has its roots in Turkey. The people of Yemen, however, made the recipe their own by using a unique blend of indigenous spices.
Another well-known Yemeni dish is ogda which can be prepared in a variety of ways depending on what ingredients are available. The most important fruits and vegetables in Yemen are potatoes, tomatoes, and onions since they are used in the preparation of most of the meals. Mutton and chicken are the most widely consumed meat varieties in the country.http://taylor.evolt.org/lafof-dating-english.php
Traditional dress of Yemen
Pork is not eaten as it is prohibited by Sharia law while beef is costly and consumed rarely. Music in Yemen traces its roots to the nation's rich poetic history. The Yemeni people have a unique cultural practice referred to as Zamil where they immediately come up with poems or recite the ones they have memorized. The verses usually make use of proverbs to convey deeper meanings and Yemeni songwriters make use of this practice in composing their songs.
Yemen: Culture and Value Differences Essay Example
Music is an integral part of Yemeni daily life and songs are often sung as people work. Several Yemeni musical groups perform during ceremonies making use of instruments such as lutes, flutes, and drums. Dancing in Yemen is usually common during festivals, and the dancers often imitate fights. Apart from the traditional music, modern forms of music such as hip hop and rap have taken root in Yemen with Hajaj Abdulqawi Masaed often being considered the most influential Yemeni hip-hop star. Yemeni literature began gaining prominence in the 20th century due to the works of writers such as Ramziya Abbas al-Iryani, and Zahra Rahmat Allah.
One of the main factors that hindered the growth of the Yemen literature industry was the low literacy levels among Yemeni adults. In , adult literacy in Yemen was approximately Most of the rural Yemeni communities place a lot of emphasis on traditional gender roles. Although urban Yemeni societies are not as strict as rural ones, traditional Islamic customs guide people in their interactions with one another.
In the north, customs, laws, and practices concerning land and water allocation are Groups of chatting men in Sana'a. In the south, the first two practices were supplemented by British law and, after , socialist legislation. After unification, agricultural land was denationalized and returned in the south to those who owned it under the British. About 6 percent of the national territory is arable, 30 percent is occupied by pastures, and 7 percent is forest and woodland.
Commercial Activities. Shops and permanent and weekly markets offer local and imported foodstuffs, qat and frankincense, livestock, manufactured goods, fabrics, and clothing.
Goods traditionally associated with the culture, such as side arms, textiles, leather, and agates, also are available for purchase. Major Industries. The petroleum refinery in Little Aden produces a major share of the industrial output. Other products are foodstuffs, including soft drink bottling and dairy plants; cement and cinder blocks, tiles, and burned bricks; textiles; aluminum utensils, rubber and plastic; and salt. Yemenis still practice traditional handicrafts such as silver and copperwork, dagger manufacturing, carpentry, boat building, pottery, weaving and dyeing, wickerwork, and leather tanning.
Electricity is generated from thermal power plants. Economic prospects depend on the development of oil resources. The principal exports are livestock and food, cigarettes, leather, and petroleum products, which are shipped mainly to Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Italy. All manner of staples from food to consumer goods are imported. Division of Labor.
Most of the population is employed in agriculture and herding or works as expatriate laborers. Industry about 5 percent of total labor power , services, construction, and commerce employ for less than half the workforce. There is a labor hierarchy that conforms to the traditional social strata. Classes and Castes. Under law all citizens are equal. The traditional social structure, however, has at the top the Sayyids stratum, descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.
The Sayyids competed for the office of Zaydi imam and control sacred enclaves, solved tribal conflicts by mediation, engaged in theology and law, and owned and leased land.
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Slightly lower on the social scale are the Qadis or Fuqaha in the south, the Mashayikh who perform the same social functions. Qabilis tribesmen control their territory and caravan routes, own arable land that most of them cultivate, and carry weapons.
The lower strata are underprivileged and have an obscure genealogy. Being under tribal protection, they traditionally were deprived of land ownership and were not allowed to bear arms. The members of this group are called the Bani Khums in the north and the Masakeen and Du'afa the poor and the weak in the south. They engage in low-status occupations that in most cases are hereditary, working as smiths, carpenters, potters, brokers, barbers who also perform circumsion , bloodletters, musicians, heralds, butchers weavers and dyers, and tanners.
The Akhdams servants wash and bury the dead and clean latrines. The majority of Akhdams and exslaves Abeeds are of African or Ethiopean descent. All these strata tend to be endogamous or, in the south, observe the marital rule of hypergamy, in which men marry within their strata or lower and women marry their equals or higher-status men.
The mass return of expatriates in has raised the social problem of muwalladin , or Yemenis of mixed origins. Symbols of Social Stratification. Male Sayyids and Qadis traditionally wore long robes and covered their heads with white or green turbans; their authority also was symbolized by a staff, a ring, and a flag. Tribal symbols include weapons firearms , dances, greetings, call songs, and tribal poetry. Women's dress reflects not so much class differences but social and regional ones except for the fact that women in nomadic tribes and the most under-privileged strata leave their faces unveiled.
In the south, the jambiya is worn only by tribesmen.
A Look Into The Culture Of Yemen
In the north, men in most social strata carry daggers. Today all Yemeni men prefer to wear jambiyas that are placed vertically at the center of the belt. United Yemen proclaimed itself a presidential republic and a multiparty parliamentary democracy. The constitution was approved by referendum in and was amended in The president is elected for a five-year term; the last campaign for the presidency was won in by the general Ali Abdullah Saleh. Executive authority is vested in the prime minister and the cabinet. The Women have rights guaranteed by law, but gender disparity is widespread.
Supreme Court heads the judicial branch. The press is among the freest in the Arab world. Leadership and Political Officials.