Ile de Jerba Local Customs

  • Local Customs
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  • Local Customs
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  • Local Customs
    by croisbeauty

Best Rated Local Customs in Ile de Jerba

  • csordila's Profile Photo

    Bargaining in the Souk

    by csordila Updated Mar 14, 2010

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    Bargaining is expected in the souks!!
    If you want to buy something, there is no question, that the bargaining is unavoidable. The life without bargaining is no life for the Djerbian vendors! Actually the prices indicated first have nothing to do with the real price of the goods, they may be easily three times or four times higher than the normal price. I learned that you really have to bargain like mad to get reasonable prices here. Offering third of the requested price is a good starting point. In the end you still do not know what is reasonable and what's pure nonsense.

    To make some good deals and achieve an acceptable price, you should be as stubborn as a mule and you have to spend much time, energy and patience. At the beginning it may be amusing, but sooner or later for most of the European a long lasting bargaining becomes tiring.

    A lot of business go up in smoke because some of the tourists fear to enter a boutique thinking, they will never be able to get out without buying something although they are really interested only in certain products.
    Many tourist offices think that this negotiating system should held for tourists, in order to please them, in order to fulfill their expectations of the Curiosity.

    I think, that bargaining process is a quaint system that needs however to change in the best interest of all. Fortunately, outside these tourist zones, Tunisian commerce has evolved and has adapted to modern ways such as selfservice.

    ....as stubborn as a mule Spices, food in the souk.
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    Woman in dark

    by JLBG Written Jan 20, 2005

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    This dark clothe with a red strip and blue is often seen in central Djerba. In the background what is called “un puits à balancier” (well with a balance). They have a typical design with a “scale” on each leg that allowed to climb easily on top. A long wooden log was set on top (there remains a mark on the right stand), between the 2 legs. It hold a long log (here gone) that was as the arm of a balance, hence the name, and that allowed to collect water from the well more easily than drawing a rope.

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    Tunisia from A to Z - Some funny explanation

    by csordila Updated Mar 6, 2010

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    Ali baba: His companions were the forty robbers, whose descendants - according to some tourists - are the merchants of Tunisia.
    Allah: He is the God of the Muslims. The lazy muslims abuse his name often, saying: Insallah - the will of Allah.
    Baksheesh: That's what you do not have to give, but obligatory. Exceeds often the performance of your wallet.
    Bedouins: Nomad desert inhabitants - coming from nowhere, going to nowhere
    Camel: Not the winner of the animal beauty contest.
    Carthage: The capital of the Punic realm, Scipio a Roman strategist razed it, but a lot of thing to see remained yet.
    Coffee prepared from roasted coffee beans: This is, which is not known, neither even by mere report here. The Arab coffee substitute made from ground date seed and I suspect that even many of the Espresso machines can use this. Very sweet!!
    Dates: It is a fantastic feeling, when riding a camel in the green oasis, ripe dates fall into your lap. Indeed, the conditions of the paradise, as long as it does not need to be paid the price of camel ride.
    Hotel: Most of them have been built in the past few years. The category is determined by a shot in the dark merely, otherwise are twins.
    Medina: Arab downtown, which is a pleasant market in daytime, after dusk , however, is the meeting place of the tourists being tired of life, with the Arab knives.
    Oasis: Where you see a place with more than twenty palm tree in the desert or on its edge, that is it.
    People: meek and wild, hostile and friendly, hospitable and withdrawn - and all at once. Their skin colour covers every nuance from the black to the white, due to the fact, that the many conquerors left back not only the residues of the buildings in the country.
    Road Traffic Regulation: It exists, but nobody knows, why. For people with a weaker nerve is rather advisable to close their eyes in the traffic.
    Water: The most valuable substance in the country, more expensive than petrol.

    Not the winner of the animal beauty contest Not the winner .........
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  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Women and children in Central Djerba.

    by JLBG Written Jan 20, 2005

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    Women and children walking in a group in Central Djerba. I took this picture across the windshield of the car, which is not advisable at all (it was on my first visit !). The children are showing that I should not take the picture. Sorry, I did it but now I would not do it anymore.

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    Two women

    by JLBG Written Jan 20, 2005

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    The color of the garment, the number and color of the strips and the waving of the belt, work as an identity card. They tell if the woman is married or single or widow, if she belongs to a Moslem or to a Jewish family, etc… However, I have been unable to find the significance of these garments.

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    Woman in white

    by JLBG Updated Mar 10, 2005

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    Clothe with a red strip is also often seen in central Djerba. It is not very different from the tunic that was worn by the ancient Romans. To day, there are less of this clothe but, especially in Central Djerba, they can still be seen sometime.

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    Group of women in Central Djerba

    by JLBG Written Mar 10, 2005

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    In this group, photographed in Central Djerba too, some of the women have white clothe with the red stripe while others have the dark djellabah (more a dark blue than a black, by the way) which has too a red stripe. I have not found any clue but I would not be surprised it the color had to deal with the marital status. White djellabah women are younger. They might be either unmarried or married with a living husband. Dark Djellabah women are older they might be either married women or widowed. I will try to find an answer to that question.

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    Prickly pear fence

    by JLBG Written Mar 16, 2005

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    This photography shows how the mendzel (houses) in Djerba are enclosed. They build a 20-30 cm high wall with agglomerated sand and plant on its top "paddles" of prickly pear (Opuntia*). The prickly pear grows fast and its roots hold more or less together the sand but anyway, the small wall will soon be of no use as it will be topped by a several meters high bush of prickly pears

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    Women collecting water.

    by JLBG Written Jan 20, 2005

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    In remote villages, tap water is set in the middle of the village. Women come with their amphora to fill it at the tap. This picture was taken a few years ago. Now plastic jerry-cans, a lot lighter than an amphora, have widely replaced heavy amphoras which are still in use only in the remotest places.

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  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Women carrying water.

    by JLBG Updated Jan 20, 2005

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    Women and even little girls used to carry amphoras on their back. The amphora is hold up by a rope that passes on the head, protected by a piece of garment. If you enlarge the picture, you can see that on the young girl on the left. No wonder that now, plastic jerry-cans or better plastic amphoras have replaced the old amphoras. Plastic amphoras are easier to hold than jerry-cans.

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    Unusual shawl

    by JLBG Written Mar 10, 2005

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    These two women were photographed in the main town of Djerba, Houmt Souk. They wear a very unusual garment. They have both a huge shawl with bright stylized flowers that covers almost entirely their clothe, most probably a Djellabah. I have seen that seldom in Djerba.

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    Women on the ferry

    by JLBG Written Mar 16, 2005

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    On the ferry from Djorf to Adjim a group of women clad in entirely white djellaba are sitting on the deck and hide themselves as much as they can. They lean on the sacks of fresh alfalfa and grass that they bring back from the continent to Djerba for cattle.

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  • Wafro's Profile Photo

    Shisha or Hookah

    by Wafro Updated Oct 1, 2008

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    Shisha is smoked on a social basis, usually in one's home with guests or in a cafe with friends. Most cities have shisha cafes where hookah is offered with a non-alcoholic drink (mainly tea). This is mostly for health reasons rather than cultural reasons. Often people will smoke hookah after dinner as a replacement for cigarettes.
    Expect to pay 2-5 dinar

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    Fatima's Hand

    by Wafro Updated Oct 1, 2008

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    Fatima's hand became a symbol in the Muslim world and Middle East. For hundreds of years the Hand of Fatima was worn as the symbol for loyalty and forbearance. Hamsa(hand) necklaces and Hamsa bracelets are used to bring good luck and protection to the owners.

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    Drinking Tea

    by Wafro Updated Oct 1, 2008

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    Mint tea is widely drunk in Tunisia. Green tea leaves are boiled in a pot with sugar and mint leaves and the tea is drunk from a glass. This kind of tea is also drunk in Morocco and Algeria. Drinking tea is a part of the Maghreb culture and introduced by tourists.

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Ile de Jerba Local Customs

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