Tunisia Culture and Traditions

Table manners

In Tunisia, people like to eat with their fingers and the whole family then dine together from one plate. The sauce and the food are dipped with bread. Often you sit on the floor around a low table. But of course this is not the case everywhere. Many Tunisians use normal plates and cutlery like us and don’t sit on the floor. But the old tradition in Arabia is to eat with your fingers.

The Tunisians are very hospitable. When the guest has finished eating, a second helping is often offered. One should not refuse this, because it is considered impolite. These old traditions are cultivated even more in the country than in the city. In the photo you can see a group of Tunisians having lunch together. It doesn’t look so different now than at home.

By the way, if you are invited to a meal in Tunisia, you definitely have to bring a small present. That’s the way it should be. If you’re not sure what, sweets are always welcome.

Influences from all over the world in Tunisia?

Tunisia is an Arab country, which is why the cuisine lives from a variety of Arab influences. But the Italian and French cuisine also shape the cuisine of Tunisia. As you may know, Tunisia was a French colony for a long time and you can still tell today.

Brik à l’oeuf is a specialty in Tunisia. A sheet of puff pastry is filled with a mixture of egg and capers, tuna, potatoes and parsley and then rolled. Finally, bake it in oil and serve it drizzled with lemon.

Couscous, tagine and co

In Tunisia, as in many other Arab countries, couscous is the favorite dish of many. It is a semolina dish that is often cooked with vegetables and meat. The Tunisians prefer lamb and chicken as meats. They like to use tomatoes, potatoes, onions, olives and peppers as vegetables. Chickpea dishes are also very popular.

Another dish that is commonly prepared is tagine. This is a type of stew that you cook for a long time. A simple tagine recipe that you can also cook can be found in the tips on how to participate.

Sharp – sharper – Harissa

If you ever see a red paste called harissa standing in your kitchen, be careful because this stuff is very hot and has it all. It is a seasoning paste made from peppers, garlic and various spices. It is simply part of a Tunisian meal. However, if you don’t like it that spicy, you should keep your fingers or rather your mouth off it.

What do you drink in Tunisia?

In Tunisia, tea is usually served as a drink or a very strong coffee that is similar to Italian espresso. Mint tea is popular and, like all teas, is usually drunk heavily sweetened. Otherwise you can drink almost everything in Tunisia that we have here.

And what is there for dessert?

The dessert is very sweet, like everywhere in the Arab world. If you have already vacationed in Greece or Turkey, or perhaps even in Tunisia, then you must know the famous Baklawa.

But there is also pudding in Tunisia, which is then called Bouza. Macroudh is also popular. This is a dough filled with dates that you like to toss in honey. You can imagine that it tastes pretty sweet, very sugary and also not exactly healthy. But sometimes it just has to be.

Fruit shouldn’t be missing either. A Tunisian fruit platter could contain the following types of fruit: dates, oranges, apricots, watermelons, nectarines and cactus fruits. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

Are there differences between girls and boys in Tunisia?

Tunisia has been a democratic state for a few years and is one of the few states in North Africa that can now look back on a stable political situation. So people are doing better compared to other countries. They live more freely and also more enlightened than in other countries.

But what does it look like then? Do girls in Tunisia fare the same as boys do, or are there still differences here? As in many other Arab countries, girls prepare very early for their future roles as housewives and mothers. The boys often have a lot more freedom than the girls. To get more information on Tunisia and Africa, check allunitconverters.

In school, as in many other African countries, there are no educational classes and the topic of sexuality is often kept secret. The girls often also serve their brothers and are also prepared in such a way that they later have to run the household. Just imagine that your brother is sitting on the sofa and you have to bring him dinner. Often the boys take on the role of the father as head of the family when he is not there.

The family plays a big role

As everywhere in Arab countries, the family plays a major role and all family members stick together. That’s actually a nice thing, you might say. Of course it is, especially when you know that family members help and support one another.

The families are often very large; in rural areas, families sometimes have five to six children. But the better educated people are, the lower the number of children they will have. There are now families with fewer children in Tunisia.

The man is the head of the family, but the women are in charge of the household. Girls are usually very well looked after until the wedding and often move to their parents-in-law’s apartment after their home. Often other family members also live there. This leads to arguments often enough, as you might guess. Imagine living under one roof with grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles and many cousins. That doesn’t always go well. Many parents are very strict with their children.

There are now many well-educated young women in Tunisia, but it is difficult for them to find a job. Despite all the education, old role models come into play and in case of doubt the job goes to a man and not a woman.

Tunisia Culture

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