Tunisia Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by croisbeauty
  • Local Customs
    by croisbeauty
  • Local Customs
    by croisbeauty

Tunisia Local Customs

  • WOMENS CARPET CO-OP'S

    Tunisia have local carpet making co-op's where local women make carpets. The carpets can take a year to hand make and the patterns are all done from thier minds, they do not have a patern to go by. This makes each carpet unique. The carpets are really good value considering the time, effort and quality that had gone into them.

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  • meet the lions

    It's like a wall. A wall of intense heat. A wall which prevents me from moving. For a moment I thought it was the old locomotive generating heat. Then the train slowly moves on, the heat is as fierce as ever. I start walking. Is this 40 degrees C. or perhaps 50?'As soon as you leave the coastal plain temperatures can rise to 40 degrees C. and...

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  • Camels.

    Camels are still a big part of every day life in Tunisia.They are still being used for many purposes and the camel markets are always a good place to check out the local scene for some exotic flavour.

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  • Cafe culture

    There are many cafes all over the villages and cities of Tunisia, where you can smoke shisha pipes and enjoy a local-style coffee, though they are mostly for men only. We were warned that women could sit at cafes, but it would be rather frowned upon.

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  • Buy your drugs early... or late...

    Pharmacies in Tunisia have strange operating hours. Most are open for a few hours in the morning, close for most of the afternoon, and then reopen from about four-ish, until the evening. The staff in most pharmacies we went to spoke English, which helped. Also, medicines are available without prescription.

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  • Women in Tunisia

    It was a hot day in Yasmine Hammamet. The beach was quite crowded with white skins and tiny bikinis of foreigners from places where the sun doesn’t shine all that much. To the beach arrived two women dressed head to toe with local clothing and a child. The women bathed keeping all the clothes, dried at the sun and left. Women in Tunisia are...

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  • Uuughhh!!!!

    I hate this rabit! Or is it a mouse, an alien from another planet? Every time i see it gives me the creeps! And it is everywhere in Tunis and at the entrance of every city, sometimes alone, sometimes with its wife and children. I asked to my colleague about this rabit. She explained me that it is an animal called “fnak” (in Arabic) that lives in...

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  • Foire de l'Artisanat Tunis: freaky...

    Last Sunday (02nov) strangely I decided to stay in Tunis. By that time there was la Foire de l’Artisanat (Crafts Fairy) in Le Kram and a friend of mine proposed me to go there to take a look and, maybe, buy something for our appartments. When we arrived to the entrance and I saw families and families (mum, dad, children, grandma, auncle…) going...

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  • Smoking chicha!!!!

    AAAhhhh! Smoking chicha is one of the pleasures of Tunisia! Chicha, Narguileh, Hookah. . . all these words (depending on the region or country where we are) refer to the waterpipe used to smoke a tobacco called "tumbak" which is a special tobacco, different from our "normal tobacco". You can find a chicha in almost all the tunisian houses and...

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  • Ramadan nights in the Medina

    Ramadan nights are great in Tunisia! During the day muslims cannot eat, drink, … so nights are their moment. This is what happens:-At sunset the muezzin calls to prayer and people start eating and drinking. Absolut silence, there is no one on the streets-After dark the muezzin calls again to prayer. This is the most important moment of the day and...

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  • Ramadan sweets

    During the last 10 days of Ramadan women spend the day making cakes and biscuits for this special occasion. They make a lot of biscuits (usually traditional families in Tunisia are big) and at night they take their huge plates to the public ovens in the medina to bake them. A piece of paper with the owner’s name and adress is left on the plate to...

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  • Berbers

    I visited Tunisia in the winter when it was quite chilly and saw that many of the local men wear large thick coats and blanket looking garments that are drapped over their shoulders in order to keep warm. Some wear traditional fez looking red hats whilst others wear more Muslim looking scoll caps.

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  • Makhroud

    Kairouan is famous through-out Tunisia for makhroud, a date-filled semolina cake soaked in honey. Be warned that it is very rich and even though they look small, they are very filling. You can find them to buy at Sengi, a patisserie located in the Medina and other shops and stalls nearby.

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  • Traditional crafts

    If you wander around the back streets of a Medina you'll stumble across many traditional crafts such as weaving using old human-powered looms, metalwork and guys making wooden window frames. It's an aladdin's cave of traditional crafts where human's still do the work and not machines.

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  • Bonne Annee!

    I happened to be in Tunisia over the New Year period and one custom that seems to have been brought over by the French is to buy a Bonne Annee cake. There are several cake shops that were selling large gateau type cakes and it seems to be customary to buy one on New Years Eve as loads of people well carrying them in large boxes in order to...

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  • ladies cover your knees

    i like going around grave yards and if you visit one of these ladies should cover their knees and possibly shoulders.the taxi driver we had was telling me that women are not allowed to go to funerals, i found this a little odd.bodies are wrapped and are placed on their side in tombs, facing mecca.

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  • Islam

    Islam is the official religion of Tunisia. However, because of the former French colonial influence and the fact that the country is far from the Islamic centers of power in the Middle East, Tunisia is a fairly liberal country. Unlike in some of its neighboring countries, other religions are tolerated, and even officially sanctioned. There are...

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  • The Camel

    Historically, the camel was the most important animal in the lives of the nomadic Berbers of the northern Sahara Desert. It was the main form of transportation, it served as a general beast of burden, its meat and milk were food staples, and its hides were used for leather. (In Oman I tried camel's milk. See my "Restaurant" tip on my Oman page to...

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  • Clothing

    Tunisia is an Islamic country, and although it is probably one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, people do tend to dress more conservatively than in Europe. Tunisian women all over the country don't always wear headscarves, and most dress stylishly in the latest fashions...but you rarely see a Tunisian woman revealing much flesh....

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  • Alcohol in Tuinsia

    Though alcohol is not forbidden in Tunisia, it can be difficult to come by, as many Tunisians choose not to drink, in keeping with Muslim tradition. In bigger cities such as Sousse or Tunis, you'll have little difficulty finding a restaurant or cafe with alcohol though these tend to be the more expensive places. In smaller towns and villages it...

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  • Watching the world go by

    A very common pastime in Tunisia, especially amongst some of the local men, is to sit in a cafe all day long, and stare suspiciously at any tourist who passes by! So many times when we walked past a cafe, we could see the eyes staring us up and down. Actually, I think it was my girlfriend who was getting all the attention. It's a little...

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  • Languages in Tunisia

    Most Tunisians speak both Arabic and French and it's very useful to have at least one of these languages when travelling in Tunisia. In bigger cities such as Sousse and Tunis or tourist centres like Djerba many languages are spoken, especially by shopkeepers and hotel receptionists, but outside these areas you will struggle without one of the two...

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  • Staying Covered Up

    Though Tunisia is a bit more relaxed than other Muslim countries regarding dress, visitors should nevertheless be aware of local feeling when it comes to what clothes to wear. In Sousse we saw many tourists dressed in short skirts, shorts, low-cut tops, etc and there is nothing stopping you from following this. However, none of the locals were...

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  • "Droit de photo"

    In all museums and sights you must pay the "droit the photo" if you want to take photos. The fee is 1 dinar. I advise you to pay this small amount, because if you don't - and you take photos anyway - there are heavy fines for trespassers.

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  • Cover up.

    In all places of worship in Tunisia you must cover up yourself,you wont be allowed in with shorts and vest tops or sleeveless tops or dresses.In most places of worship they will give you a long dress to wear.

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  • Fishing.

    Where i come from we use fishing rods to catch fish,so i was totally amazed to see the local boys and how they catch their fish,they get into the water with a carrier bag with a chunk of bread inside and wait for the fish to swim into the bag then quickly close it and hand it to the others who are stood waiting for the catch of the day.

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  • Landing Card

    On arrival into tunisia you will be expected to fill in a landing card. At passport control they will take this filled in landing card off you and give you another bit of it back. YOU NEED TO KEEP THIS. You need to use this again to get back out of the country, and have to show it at passport control on exit. If you do lose it you can fill in...

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  • Airport Porters

    There are what seems like thousands of porters at the airport when you get there, who want to take your bags of you to your transport. You dont have to let them take them if you wish, and they will leave you if you simply firmly say no. They may expect a tip however they are paid by the government and you do not have to give them one.

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  • Currency

    I wasnt sure which section this should go in but decided here would be a good plan. Tunisia has a closed currency which means you cant take money in or out of the country. You will only need to take your regular currency or travellers checks of some sort. It is advisable to change your money in your hotel all rates are the same, and they will...

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  • Western Women & Tunisian Men

    Tunisia seems to be a very popular destination for "elderly" western women in search of holiday fun with younger Tunisian men. In Sousse, Djerba and Tozeur we saw a number of fifty-something Europeans ladies with their twenty-something boyfriends.

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  • Battering

    In tunisia there isnt a fixed price for anything. If you visit any of the medinas you need to haggle, make sure you bring the price right down and walk away if you think its still to expensive. The tunisians can be very forceful after all this is there livelihood, however if you dont want something walk away but just be prepared.

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  • Life of Berbers

    The Berbers lived in north Africa long before the arrival of the Arabs, and their culture probably dates back more than 4,000 years. In Tunisia, of the country’s population of 9 million an estimated 90,000 people are thought to be “pure” Berber. The Berbers are known for their green eyes, ginger hair and pale skin—although many Berbers with Arabic...

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  • Extra charge for taking pictures

    Museums, mosques, ribats and other places of interest to visitors in Tunisia often charge you extra if you want to take pictures. This is usually a small amount (1D normally) but it seems a bit ridiculous to me that you have to pay more on top of the entrance fee just to take pictures.

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  • Cafes/restaurants which serve everything

    I lost count of the number of times we were in a cafe or restaurant and ordered something which would end up being delivered from another restaurant or cafe down the street. Cafe owners are reluctant to turn away customers and if they have run out of what you want or if they don't have it on their menu they often send someone up the street to get...

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  • Libyan Gasoline

    Near the Libyan border in southern Tunisia, it is common to see dozens of roadside stands offering very cheap Libyan gasoline. The gasoline is stored in blue plastic containers that are stacked in eye-catching displays along the side of the road. Apparently the gasoline is of such low quality that it causes engine problems, such as difficulty in...

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  • Tunisian Hospitality

    I was glad to see that hospitality is alive and well in Tunisia...although it may seem in the tourist resorts that everyone is out to get your money or sell you something, away from these areas people are generally very friendly. I noticed this more in Le Kef than in anywhere else, but maybe that was just my experience, as I'm sure other towns are...

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  • The a la Menthe

    Few visitors leave Tunisia without sampling Mint Tea, which could be considered the national drink. Every cafe and restaurant will serve it, while if you're invited to someone's home, or even to a shop to look at carpets there is a good chance you'll be offered a glass. Well worth trying is The aux Pignons, a variation of mint tea, served with pine...

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  • Ben Ali

    If you look closely at my picture you'll see the face of Ben Ali, Tunisia's President. Visitors to Tunisia are probably sick of the sight of him as his picture seems to be on display everywhere, in hotels, tourist offices, museums, street signs and so on. In fact, it's compulsory for all official buildings to display his picture.

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  • Haggling

    In Tunisia, haggling is more than simply bargaining to get the best price possible -- it is a social experience. If you step into a store with the intention of buying, be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time inside.Most often, the seller will offer you some mint tea while making small talk, showing you pictures of his family, etc. He...

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  • tips

    We were told that there are local people who are strictly religious and do not let you to take a picture of them. You should ever ask a person for a permittion to take a picture. The guys who agree usually expect from you to give them 1 TD for the picture. There are also guys who insist to have a picture with you and this is usually for money.

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  • Tunisian cooking 101 : Chakchouka

    The Chakchouca (a ratatouille with eggs) is among the most typical tunisian main dishes.Preparing time : 15 minutes (easy)Cooking time : 40-45 minutesKeeping : serve immediatelyIngredients :3 ripe, mid sized tomatoes cut in small thimbles.2 pepperoni (the vegetable) (red or green or one of each) cut in strips1 small pimento sliced2 mid sized...

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  • learn something!

    i took the effort to learn some arabc when i went...i could tell that they REALLY appreciated that...it also gained me some immediate respect that i am sure was helpful. i learned the basic please & thank you...god bless you (the one they liked the best)...also 'shame on you' was the most helpful when dealing with the men. They are wonderful...

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  • I want to be alone

    Wanting to be alone or needing space is not a part of the Tunisian mindset. In a way it's considered as strange that someone would want to be alone.Being in a group is important so when you feel crowded or pestered it is perhaps wise to remember that personal space is not the same everywhere.

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  • Cork production

    We all know cork as a stopper for bottles, tiles, heels for shoes, pin boards. But how many of you have seen how it is produced. The bark is stripped from the lower levels of the trees, and then taken to form the commodity that we all know.

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  • Tunisian cooking 101 : Potato brick

    OK, not the most typical brick (the potatoes are rather recent in Tunisian cooking (just a couple of centuries)) but easy to prepare and perfect for a light meal in summer.Ingredients :2 eggs - olive oil (some 100 centiliters) - potatoes (250 grams ) - capers- (25 grams) - 1 onion - molded black pepper (2 grams) - 1 lemon - salt - flaky pastry...

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Tunisia Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Tunisia local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Tunisia sightseeing.
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