The culture of Jordan is based on Arabic and Islamic elements with significant Western influence. The Jordanian Kingdom had always been the intersection of the three continents of the ancient world and always seemed to have a form of diversity at any given point due to its location.
There are many forms of Jordanian art. Art in Jordan is plentiful, there are many local artists, as well as Arab and those who live abroad frequently have exhibitions in different art galleries in Jordan. In addition to an art museum in Jabal Luwiebdeh, there is Darat Al Funun, a very prestigious art center that frequently holds exhibitions by local, Arab and international artists. It is too in Jabal Luwiebdeh, but there are many other art centers that too hold exhibitions.
The traditional music of Jordan has a long history. Rural zajal songs, with improvised poetry played with a Mijwiz, Tablah, Arghul, Oud, rabab reed pipeand ADdaf ensemble accompanying is popular. Recently Jordan has seen the rise of several prominent DJs and popstars.
Jordanian costume is characterized by its elegance, originality, and practicality. The Jordanian costume is also remarkable for its vast diversity, despite Jordan’s relatively small geographical area. This variation reflects different styles of living, for example, the agricultural societies of the north and the Bedouin nomadic and settled communities of the south.
The Jordanian cuisine is a traditional style of food preparation originating from Jordan that has developed from centuries of social and political change with roots starts with the evidence of human activity in Jordan in the Paleolithic period (c. 90,000 BC).
There is a wide variety in the Jordanian style of cooking. The authentic Jordanian cuisine can range from baking, sautéing and grilling to stuffing of vegetables (grape leaves, eggplants, etc.), meat, and poultry. Also common in the Jordanian style of cooking is roasting, and/or preparing foods with special sauces.
As one of the largest producers of olives in the world, olive oil is the main cooking oil in Jordan. Herbs, garlic, spices, onion, tomato sauce and lemon are typical flavours found in the Jordanian food. The recipes to the meals of the cuisines of Jordan can vary from being extremely hot and spicy to being mild.
The most common and popular of the appetizers is hummus, which is a puree of chick peas blended with tahini, lemon, and garlic. Ful Medames is another well-known appetizer. A worker’s meal, today it has made its way to the tables of the upper class. A successful mezze must of course have koubba maqliya, labaneh, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, olives and pickles.
Arabic is the official language. English is taught to all students and is widely spoken.
The country’s most famous poet is Mustafa Wahbi al-Tal, who is among the major Arab poets of the twentieth century. Al-Tal was a political and social activist who devoted twenty years of his life to regaining the rights of gypsies and became a member of the gypsy community.
Affluent urban families live in larger apartments or individual homes. Buildings and homes are made of concrete, and some are made of mud and stone, with a design that allows more floors to be added, to create apartments for married sons. Privacy is very important, and many homes and other buildings open into private courtyards with concrete walls. Nomadic farmers live in tents made from the hides and fur of their animals. Amman’s appearance reflects a Western influence, with modern hotels and commercial buildings.
Many sports are enjoyed in Jordan, particularly football and basketball as well as other imported sports mainly from western Europe and the United States.
Jordanians follow the Islamic calendar. National holidays include Arbor Day (15 January), Arab League Day (22 March), and Independence Day (25 May). Religious holidays include Id al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan), Id al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice), the Islamic New Year, the birthday of Mohammed, and Leilat al-Meiraj (the Ascension of Mohammed).