The Bedouins are the desert nomadic people and there are still many Bedouins living in the deserts of Oman. I have a chance to visit a Bedouin family who is close friend to my Omani guide and it was really a very good experience into the culture of these people.
Forts in Oman
Why are there more than 500 forts in Oman? The reason is because Oman used to be ruled by many different tribes and the forts (together with its watch towers surrounding the area) are a means of protecting the various towns from enemy attacks. Some of these forts remain till today and the ones in Jabrin, Nizwa, Bahla and Nakhl are the mosr famous. It seems that almost every town in Oman has a fort.
Cemeteries in Oman
Unlike many other cultures, Islam believes in simple burial for the dead and therefore the tombs in Oman are very simple. Normally, only a pile of rocks is used to mark the location of the burial. In the older era, tombs such as the one shown in the photo is common, but now many of them are being removed. There are 1-2 remaining near to the coastal ruins of Qalhat and some remaining in Bat located in the Western Hajar Mountains.
Way of life in Oman
Contrary to believe, Oman is a very safe and modern country with some of the most friendly people you will ever find. Despite modernisation, Oman is still a very traditional country where people wear traditional costumes and islamic way of life is very dominant. Oman is more liberal towards women than some other countries in Arabia, and women in Oman can work, drive vehicles, go shopping and even become a Minister (the Minister for Tourism is a woman).
There are many ancient watch towers in Oman from the coast to the inland areas. These watch towers were used as sentry posts to warn of enemy attacks on the various towns during the era when Oman was divided into many different tribes. Usually, there is a fort in the town area surrounded by these watch towers.
The Falaj (water channels)
When you visit the mountain villages and towns of Oman, you will be able to see the Falaj (water channels). The Falaj is extremely important because it brings fresh water from the mountains to the town and villages. The water near the source is used for drinking, cooking etc and those flowing downstream is used for farming, washing etc.
Fishing as a way of life
Because of the long coast which Oman has, and the surrounding seas of the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea are rich in marine life, people living along the coast of Oman tend to be fishermen. You will see many fishing boats, fish markets along the beach and small huts for storing fishing equipment along the beautiful coast of Oman.
Dress for Respect
Basically, you don't want to be showing too much skin in Oman. They are not the strictest of muslim countries, but when abroad, it is always considerate to be respectful of local customs. The people are understandably a little more lenient with foreigners, but it's still a good idea to wear long pants instead of shorts when in public.
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In Islam, Ramadan is the holy month of fasting, the ninth month of the Muslim year, in which “the Qur'an was sent down as a guidance for the people” (Qur'an 2:185).
For more information on the Holy Month, click here to visit my Travelogue The Holy Month of Ramadan
Sultan Al Qaboos has jurisduction ultimately, over everything. He convened an elected Majlis ashshura (consulting council) in 1992 as the first step towards democracy.
Sultan Al Qaboos is separated, and has no children. The Oman constitution says that the heir to the throne must be chosen by the royal family within 3 days of it 'falling vacant'.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
traditional dress #2
For formal wear, a khanjar (silver dagger), is worn around the waist on a silver belt.
Womens' traditional clothing is made up of 3 main parts. The dishdasha (below the knee dress), the sirwal (baggy trousers), and the lihaff (embroidered headdress). All are worn in any colour.
When going outside, Omani women usually wear an abaia, a long and thin black cover worn over the lihaff. Although it is unusual to see a woman wearing the khima’r (veil), a burkha (face mask), is often worn in more conservative areas, especially among the Bedouin women. Omani women may wear as many as ten rings on their fingers, as well as bangles, heavy earrings and necklaces. Most Omani women dye their hands and feet with henna, like other Middle Eastern women
Omani traditional dress is legally required to be worn by all government emplyees
I think a lot of other people also wear it on a daily basis also.
The main item that Omani men wear is the dishdasha (long dress shirt) , which is collarless unlike that worn in the rest of the Gulf.
A knotted tassel hanging called a farakha/kashkusa hangs from the top of the dishdasha. Rosewater or sandalwood perfume is sprayed on it.
The wizar (tunic) is worn underneath the dishdasha.
A massar (turban), or kumma (embroidered cap), is worn on the head. The massar may be worn on its own, or over the kumma.
The white dishdasha is the official colour for government workers and is most common overall. In the winter, darker clothes are preferred, especially among the Bedouins.
Darker dishdashas are also worn by Baluchi men. .Related to:
- Historical Travel
Oman is a very traditional...
Oman is a very traditional country, so it's important to respect their traditions...such as the dress code; as you can see on the pic here; men wear dishdashas and women also wear traditional dresses. I always made sure that my shoulders and legs were covered, certainly in the lil mountain villages.
Be moderate in all you do.
Like in any other Islamic country, women travelers should be conservative in their dressing. No over-exposing clothes, no photography of local women and their families and of military installations, unless permitted.
Oman's national population comes from original inhabitants, Balochis from Pakistan and Zangibarians. The picture here shows Omani children posing in front of the beautiful Shaikh Zayed Mosque in Suhar.
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