Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Culture in Algeria

Hi there!
As you heard from Lauren, we arrived at Algeria yesterday! At the moment I’m very tired because we had a busy day with one meeting in the morning and one in the afternoon. Nevertheless, I have been acquainted with the culture of Algeria yet and I really like to share it with you guys! 

Today when we went for a coffee after the first meeting, I have been noticed that the Algerian people are very hospitable. When we ordered a coffee we immediately get cake for free.  

I understand the people quite good because most of them can speak French very well. The official language is Arabic but here in Algeria they speak in a dialect that called ‘Darja’.
Approximatelly 35% of the population speaks a berber language and since 2002 it also belongs to the national language.

In the restaurant where we had lunch this afternoon, I could see on the menu card that they have a very varied kitchen. Mutton is most commonly eaten as meat, but also chicken and turkey are on the menu.
The most popular meal in Algeria is ‘couscous’ which is delicious!
Lauren ate another popular meal, namely ‘Bourek’, a rolled sandwich with meat, spinach and fried fish. ‘Chorba’ is a soup with meat, tomatoes, grains of corn and coriander. This is frequently eaten during the Ramadan. Another soup is a sort of green pea soup with a lot of herbs that is called ‘Doubara’. Those two dishes are highly recommended by Debra and Liesbeth.
In the south where it is very warm, people often eat cold dishes with varied salads and cabbage salad.
We were the only one who drank a glass of wine at lunch because the Islamic faith prohibits drinking alcohol.
When we wanted to pay the check, they expected that we would give a tip. In Algeria it is normal that people give a tip to say thanks for the service. Usually the tip is 10% of the bill. 

When you are walking in Algeria, you really notice that it is an Islamic culture because of the clothing requirements. It was so hot today so I wore a short pants and a white top, but the local people were very shocked when they saw me. Although, in contrast with other Islamic countries, the number of women wearing a headscarf is limited. After all, tomorrow I will respect their culture a bit more by wearing clothes that covers my shoulders en knees. 

Before we went back to our hotel this evening, we searched for a local pub in the capital city Algiers to drink something. Men looked very weird at us, because Muslim women who walk on the street or are in a pub in the evening are to be viewed as a prostitute according to the Islamic culture.
In the pub, we saw a video about the football match of Wednesday. The only football player of Algeria I know is Zidane, but he didn’t play Wednesday. 

I can’t wait for tomorrow to visit some famous buildings and to discover more about this country!
Thanks for travelling with us and we will keep you posted!


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