Bedouin Culture

Bedouin culture has evolved from herding goats and roaming the desert, to live in villages. 


bedouin herding goats with red sand and high cliffs in Wadi Rum desert

History of Jordan’s cultural values

Jordan has been influenced principally by Islam.

Modern day customary practices and misconceptions

It is customary:

– Both men and women dress modestly, which involves wearing full length pants and shirts that cover your shoulder.

– Remove your shoes when entering someone’s home.

– Men shake hands with men, however women instead gesture by placing their hand over their heart.

– Tea to be served whenever a guest arrives or there is a pause in activity.

– Start and finish meals together and share from a communal dish.

– Refer to people as the parent of their first born son (Abu or Umm).

– Offer a gift or gesture of hospitality to new friends.

– Speak positively about the royal family

– Start families shortly after marriage and have many children.

– Be married as a virgin.

– Divorce and remarriage

It is not customary:

– Women are not required to wear headdress. Within some families it is expected, other families it is optional, however in public there is no expectation upon others.

– Tipping is appreciated where you feel you have had exceptional service, however it is not required.

– During Ramadan there is additional onus on people to dress modestly, however it is a personal choice to fast

Bedouins and travellers playing volleyball, Wadi Rum, Jordan