Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

2.5: Culture

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    Learning Objectives

    In this section

    • You will read a dialogue in Egyptian Arabic and practice guest/host conversations.
    • You will learn about the culture of hospitality, offer and refusal in Egyptian Culture.

    Address forms and hospitality in Arabic culture

    Read and listen to the following dialogue after studying the new vocabulary.

    [table id=7 /]

    two people having tea together

    The original version of this chapter contained H5P content. You may want to remove or replace this element.

    Culture notes In Arabic culture, specially with older people in the family or close community, people are named as “father of…” and “mother of…” their elder sons or daughters أبو محمد – أم خالد. If the eldest child is a girl and they have a younger boy, they will still be called as “father of…” and “mother of…” that son.

    In Arabic culture, some kinship terms can be used as address forms for non-relatives like parents’ friends or acquaintances who are elder in age. The following expressions are from Egyptian Arabic address forms:

    It is used for addressing uncle or for an elder male friend of the family. عمّو/أنكِل
    It is used for addressing maternal uncle/aunt or an elder friend of the family. خالو/خالتو
    It is used for addressing grandfather or an elder relative. جِدّو
    It is used for addressing grandmother. تيتة

    Visiting and hosting in Arabic culture

    As you notice in the dialogue, there was a brief back and forth interchange between the host and guest regarding offering a drink. The guest politely refused a couple of times before accepting to drink tea. This can be termed as pseudo refusal which is done socially among people on a daily basis. It is not only confined to guest/host scenario but could occur in other situations that involve offers like giving a ride or taking leave. Pseudo refusal can be highly recommended with elders or people in higher position. It becomes less likely to happen between very close friends.


    Choose the appropriate expression you can use in each of the following situations.

    The original version of this chapter contained H5P content. You may want to remove or replace this element.

    Watch the song تشرب إيه. What do you think is the deep meaning behind it?

    Thumbnail for the embedded element "Hamada Helal - Ashrab Shai (Official Music Video) | حمادة هلال - أشرب شاي - الكليب الرسمي"

    A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:

    Key Takeaways

    • Address forms differ according to social distance in Arabic culture.
    • Politeness is expected in conversation turns in the context of visiting and offering food and drink.

    This page titled 2.5: Culture is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Ayman Mohamed and Sadam Issa (Michigan State University Libraries) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

    • Was this article helpful?