Saturday, March 3, 2012

Arab Hospitality: Food is Love


                If there is one thing that became obvious almost instantly upon arrival in Oman, that would have to be that Food. Is. Love.  There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is true. This phenomenon, commonly known of as “Arab Hospitality” is so common in these parts of the world.

                Back at Eid, my host family and I were in Musandam. The ferry to come home was cancelled but luckily we had some wusta (which I will write a more detailed post about later) with a man in the police, who pulled a lot of strings to help some members of our party get IDs that they needed to cross the Emirati border (Musandam is the mini-Omani-equivalent of Alaska… a peninsula not connected to continental Oman). 
Anyways, we reached the border and were, in a typical show of hospitality, told we were not to cross until we came to have lunch with the people who had helped us get necessary identification.

                This sort of act is resplendent around the country—I can think of countless times when I was offered coffee or tea by virtual strangers. We had coffee with some Omanis in Wadi Bani Khalid and the women in the house that Bailey and I were stuck in in Muttrah offered us tea. Even as complete strangers, we were offered something.

                Likewise, people just like to feed people in general, even if they aren’t guests. At mealtimes it’s very common for one of my host parents to just tell me that I should eat more. Even more intense is Thursday lunch with the extended host family. I eat a lot. I'm quite sure I've gained a lot of weight (haven't checked, don't plan to). To sum up, I am excessively well fed by people here. 

Also, I will post later with pictures of food. I just forget to take them when we're eating and so I literally have one picture of food from Oman. Here it is though:
Yellow rice and chicken... very typical Arabian although a little bit
different than what I usually eat at home! The tray, however, is
very typical-- you sit four around each and eat with hands.

3 comments:

  1. Learned of your blog from Kathryn and Clare in Madison. Can you tell us how they make the yellow rice by any chance? It all looks so delicious. What is the darker stuff on top of the chicken? Onions?

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  2. I actually have no idea what that stuff is. I think it was something crunchy?

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