Posts Tagged ‘Arabic Songs’
While the different cultures throughout the Middle East all have different customs and traditions for marriages, there are some elements that are fairly common between them. While some of them may be quite familiar to people in the west, other activities may be completely new. Whatever the actual ceremonies and celebrations are, though, a wedding is an exciting time, and a lot of these traditions have been a major part of the Arabic culture for a very long time.
Arranged marriages are still quite common in the Arabic world. These are not forced marriages, as is sometimes believed, but a marriage that is arranged by the parents in which the children give their willing consent. And, of course, the groom-to-be can often provide some very strong suggestions as to who he would be most willing to consider. Many other arranged marriages are simply a matter of formalizing the situation for a couple that already knows each other.
The Marriage Contract
The marriage contract is an extremely important step in the marriage process. It must be signed in front of witnesses, and it will outline the specific responsibilities of each party. This could include several monetary conditions, like the dowry and what happens in case of a divorce. In many cases, the signing of the contract will be followed by a large celebration.
There are often multiple celebrations leading up to the actual wedding ceremony. There is the engagement celebration that is usually held in the bride’s family’s home where the groom may formally ask for the bride’s hand. Then there is the party after the marriage contract is signed, and all of this happens before Henna night. This party could be compared to a bachelorette party in the west, in that only women are invited to this event. There may be dancing and refreshments, but the main event, so to speak, is the woman who draws the Mehndi on the bride’s and guests’ feet and hands. This is a type of temporary tattoo in some very intricate and beautiful designs.
The Wedding Reception
The wedding reception is, of course, what all of this has been leading to, and there are a lot of different customs for this event. In rural areas you may see a lot of traditions that are not unlike what happens in the west. Speeches, dances, and singing are common, and the bride and groom may even cut the layered wedding cake and throw a bouquet of flowers. Out in more rural areas you may come across more reserved events, or ceremonies that have a little more traditional setting. In addition to trying to learn the Arabic language another way to better undersand the culture is to attend a wedding if you ever get the chance.
Trip to Umm Kulthum Museum
Last November, our on-campus students had a memorable trip to Umm Kulthum Museum located in one of Cairo’s most prominent districts, Zamalik. This small museum is solely dedicated to the legendary icon Umm Kulthum (1898 – 1975). Most Arabs share a deep attachment to the voice of “Kawkab elSharq” or “Voice of the East” as she is called; she is arguably the Arab world’s most treasured singer from the 1940s through the present and regarded as the greatest female singer in Arab music history.
Umm Kulthum’s stardom peaked during the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, where listeners all around the Arab World used to avidly wait for her 6-hour concerts, broadcast on the first Thursday of the month. These concerts cleared the streets of Cairo as people made their way home and to cafes to listen. She died in 1975 of heart failure and her funeral was packed by millions of mourners who carried her body to the mosque of al-Sayyid Husayn.
Learning the Arabic Language through music is a great method to pick up the proper pronunciation and get to know the Arabic culture. Listening to Arabic songs and singing along them is a fun and amusing way to widen from your vocabulary list. You can download one of Umm Kulthum’s epic songs like Enta Omri – (“You Are the love of my life”), Sirat el Houb (“Tale of Love”) or Alf Leila wa Leila (“One Thousand and One Nights”), learn its lyrics and enjoy!
Arabic Made Easy!
Music and singing helps in any language learning progress, especially in learning the Arabic language. You can easily learn Arabic through music and songs.
Listening to Arabic music and songs makes a huge difference in learning more about the Arabic culture and getting along with the Arab natives. It can break down any cultural barrier and makes you connect easily with different people. It helps you expand your Arabic vocabulary, slang/ typical phrases and idioms as well as improve your accent and pronunciation. More importantly it is an easy and fun way to learn Arabic, as singing creates good atmosphere in Arabic courses and classes as people relate to songs as part of entertainment rather than work and find learning vocabulary through songs amusing rather than tedious.
Tips for learning Arabic through music:
- Pick your favourite type of music:
- If you wish to learn Egyptian Arabic or Lebanese Arabic and pick their dialect, then look for new pop Arabic songs
- If you wish to strengthen your Standard Arabic, then choose one of the oldies songs