Yemeni culture and language relationship

Yemenis |

yemeni culture and language relationship

Yemenis. Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures COPYRIGHT The The official language of Yemen is Arabic. "Hello" in Arabic is marhaba or. Yemen - Daily life and social customs: Yemen shares in many of the customs and Culture is intensely patriarchal, and households usually consist of an on the issue, the final decision on marriage belongs with the head of the household. . Arabic language, Southern-Central Semitic language spoken in a large area. The Republic of Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia. . The use of body language is also a big factor in the way we communicate. . Islam in Yemen has had a big influence in the society and culture of this country and Women and men are not allowed to enter close relationship with each of the.

Its riches were the result of both its location on the most important trade routes of the time—over land and sea—and its profitable trade in frankincense and myrrh.

Frankincense and myrrh are made from resins from trees growing only in that area. They are used to make perfumes and incense used for religious purposes. They were rare and hard to obtain, and much sought after in the ancient world.

Today, however, Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world. Yemen has seen many rulers come and go. The earliest-known advanced civilization in the region was that of the Sabeans, who called their land Saba or Sheba. They occupied the land around BC.

The famed Queen of Sheba was a legendary Sabean ruler. In modern times, Yemen has been ruled by Ottoman Turks and by Britain. These two powers drew a border between the north and south regions in The land remained divided into North Yemen and South Yemen throughout most of the twentieth century. After decades of wars and attempts at unification, North Yemen and South Yemen were united on May 22,becoming the Republic of Yemen.

The main reason for unification was the discovery of oil along their common border in Rather than fight for rights to the oil, or split the badly needed income, the two countries decide to join and cooperate. It is bordered by Oman to the northeast and Saudi Arabia to the north. Yemen's landscape is made up of mountains and highlands, deserts, and plains. Yemen is cut off from the northern countries of the Arabian Peninsula by vast stretches of desert, called the Empty Quarter.

The census counted Less than 25 percent of the population lives in cities and towns. The population of Yemen is increasing rapidly; it is expected to double within twenty years. More than half 52 percent of the population is under the age of fifteen. Other common greetings are As-salam alaykum Peace be with you with the reply of Walaykum as-salam And to you peace.

The numbers one to ten in Arabic are wahad, itnin, talata, arba'a, khamsa, sitta, saba'a, tamania, tisa'a, and ashara.

Another legendary figure is the Sabean queen Bilqis, better known as the Queen of Sheba. Legend says that she visited King Solomon of Israel who ruled from to BC to establish friendly relations, since she and Solomon controlled the two ends of an important trade route.

No one knows whether the Queen of Sheba actually existed. Queens did rule in Arabia at that time, so it is possible that she existed. The Persian ruler of Yemen at that time converted to Islam while the Prophet Muhammad — was still alive. Most Yemenis followed him and converted, too.

About 50 percent of the people of Yemen now belong to the Shafai sect of Sunni Islam. Some 33 percent belong to the Zaydi sect of Shi'ah Islam. The main Muslim holidays are Ramadan, the month of complete fasting from dawn until dusk; Eid al-Fitra three-day festival at the end of Ramadan; Eid al-Adhaa three-day feast of sacrifice at the end of the month of pilgrimage to Mecca known as the hajj ; the First of Muharram, or the Muslim New Year; Mawoulid An-Nabawithe Prophet Muhammad's birthday; and Eid al-Isra wa Al-Miraja feast celebrating Muhammad's nighttime visit to heaven.

yemeni culture and language relationship

Friday is the Islamic day of rest, so all government offices are closed on that day. In Yemen, unlike in some of the neighboring Islamic countries, many shops stay open on Fridays. First, there is the betrothal engagement feast, usually held on a Thursday or Friday. This is when the future groom and his father visit the bride's father to settle on a wedding date and bride-price.

The wedding itself lasts for three days, usually from Wednesday through Friday. The most public part takes place on Friday and is called the laylat az-Zaffa. Men have a qat party in the afternoon. They sit together and chew qat leaves a mild narcotic and smoke the narghile, or water-pipe. Women help to prepare the food. In the evening, the men go to the mosque the building in which Muslims worship. They return dancing and singing around the groom, who carries a golden sword. Then they feast on the wedding food, chew more qat, and smoke the narghile once again.

Incense is passed around with blessings, poems are recited, a lute is played, and songs are sung. Some of the women go to the bride's home to help her dress. Taking the time to converse outside of work, in a social setting, may make confiding easier. One must be patient and analyse attitudes and body language. The way in which a task is performed may also be a good indicator of an employee's feelings towards his supervisor.

Be on the lookout for lack of interest, negligence, lack of respect for deadlines, etc. What's more, be aware that if they do not trust you, your employees will not share any information with you. On the other hand, if they enjoy a good work environment, Yemenite workers are generally very loyal.

The forging of friendly bonds make work a great deal easier. Being a foreigner may turn out to be an advantage, in that foreign skills and know-how are valued.

Be aware that a foreigner will also be judged on his character. Cultural Information - Hierarchy and Decision-making Question: In the workplace, how are decisions taken and by whom? Is it acceptable to go to my immediate supervisor for answers or feedback? Ideas are generated by senior staff and rarely come from the average employee. This also changes from organization to another. Private sector organizations involve employees in the decision making process more than any other organizations.

However, in general decisions are made at the top of the hierarchy and work their way down. It is acceptable to go your immediate supervisor for answers and feedback. However, you may not receive the amount of feedback you would expect here in Canada.

Yemenis are generally conservative in feedback and may avoid constructive criticism through a face-to-face interaction. In Yemen, hierarchy is very important in the work setting, and there is a great deal of respect for authority. Traditionally, decisions are made at the top of the organizational chart. It is uncommon to make decisions by committee. Yemenites have not been exposed to participatory management styles.

Nevertheless, when they are explained and put into effect, such techniques receive a positive response. It is perfectly acceptable to seek feedback from one's supervisor. He will consider the initiative to be a mark or respect and loyalty. Gender, Class, Religion and Ethnicity. What impact would the above attitudes have on the workplace? Men are considered superior to women in general. However, this is gradually starting to change.

In the workplace this can be seen by the absence of women in senior management positions and difficulties in dealing with a female manager. Yemenis have high regard to religion and religious practices. This can be seen by witnessing the various breaks for prayer during regular business hours.

Yemen - Daily life and social customs |

Depending on the organization, where you come from may have a significant influence on where you go within the organizational structure. There is neither de jure nor de facto gender equality in Yemen. A woman is subordinate to the authority of a man her father, husband, brother, or son. The social roles of men and women in Yemen are very clear-cut.

Relationships between men and women in public are very rare; they live separate lives. Men dominate the workplace, and very few women are educated. In the work setting, it is important to take into account this social structure that is very different from ours. You must adapt your behaviour according to whether you are interacting with a man or a woman.

The behaviour to display will also be clearly laid out depending on whether you are a man or a woman. Religion is a basic element of Yemenite society and occupies a preponderant place in the daily life of the population. Islam is the state religion. Yemenites are strong believers and very observant. The daily prayers set the rhythm of life and sometimes of work.

Yemenites are respectful of people of different creeds. However, atheism and agnosticism are met with total incomprehension. It is preferable to keep one's beliefs to oneself if they are not in agreement with the local ones. Class and ethnic origin: It is above all the clan system that influences social interrelationships in Yemen.

There is a complex hierarchy of tribes, each exerting different degrees of power. Cultural Information - Relationship-building Question: How important is it to establish a personal relationship with a colleague or client before getting to business? Developing a solid personal relationship with a colleague or client is key to any business relationship within Yemen.

Having a good relationship with key individuals can make all the difference in making or breaking the deal. It is personal contacts that make things happen in Yemen. The best way to establish a strong relationship is to socialize with the client or colleague in casual times. It is also important to maintain frequent contact via phone as a sign of courtesy.

A good personal relationship with colleagues and clients makes work and doing business easier and establishes an atmosphere of trust favourable to all work-related activities. The preferred social activity among Yemenites is the khat session. The khat is a green plant that produces a light stimulant effect. According to the World Health Organization it is a mild narcotic, although Yemenites are convinced that it is not a drug.

Its freshly cut leaves are chewed and held between the teeth and the cheek. The more skillful manage to form a tennis ball sized mass in their mouths! Khat sessions take place every day.

Someone will invite friends to their home, or a gathering will occur in a public place or on the street. Sessions begin early in the afternoon and may last until late in the evening.

yemeni culture and language relationship

It is said that khat loosens the tongue and keeps one awake. As a result, khat sessions are an opportunity for long conversations among men. It would appear that a number of important decisions are made during khat sessions, which are always timed to coincide with formal and official meetings. On the other hand, it is generally thought very poorly of for women to indulge in this activity. Big hotels are the only public places where it is possible to socialize with men and women at the same time.

Cultural Information - Privileges and Favouritism Question: Would a colleague or employee expect special privileges or considerations given our personal relationship or friendship Local Perspective: Special privileges or considerations would be expected from a Yemeni manager given a personal relationship or friendship. However, this is rarely the case with a foreign manager. It is common knowledge that foreigners are less likely to provide special privileges or considerations based on a personal relationship.

There are no specific circumstance I can think of you that may require granting such privileges or consideration unless the individual requesting them is of such a high status within society and has requested the service so bluntly that refusing the service may have a significant impact on the performance of the business i. Drawing the line on this is very difficult but in general these are very rare cases and will usually be encountered by senior level executives in social gatherings outside a business environment.

Preferential treatment is commonplace. Hiring a friend or a family member is not seen negatively as nepotism. Employees with whom you have a good rapport will expect to be accorded certain privileges. But in the work setting, I do not encourage preferential treatment based on friendship. The act of using favours to forge alliances with certain people to the detriment of others may turn against you. This also creates a precedent, which will be very difficult to reverse.

Cultural Information - Conflicts in the Workplace Question: I have a work-related problem with a colleague. Do I confront him or her directly? The best way to deal with a work-related problem with a colleague is to confront him or her directly in private, as a public confrontation is considered insulting and offensive.

The best way to know if a colleague is having problems with you or is offended by something you've done is to ask them when in doubt. They will appreciate the fact that you are taking their feelings into consideration. If you are in the minority in a predominantly Yemenite work environment, there is a good chance that you will be the last one to know if you have offended someone.

For reasons of pride, the wounded party will not willingly admit his discomfort. This is all the more true if you are his superior. Yemenites are very proud people. It is preferable to settle disputes in private rather than publicly.