26 days. Stretching them out as much as I can…
I am continuing to put off packing by doing anything else before this trip… studying for the GRE, working, writing these posts, and trying to keep up my Arabic as much as I can. In addition to trying to practice speaking and listening daily, I’ve also been trying to review some of the most important grammatical structures I’ve learned. It is so difficult to keep in practice with a new language! But hopefully my hours of studying over the years & my daily reviews will help me to communicate at even a basic level in Amman – and hopefully this experience will increase my language skills exponentially.
However, this post will be more about the things that usually fascinate me the most about travelling: learning more about local history, traditions, fashions, expectations, cuisines, social behaviors, family relationships, etc. These things just scratch the surface of how a deep and rich culture of a country like Jordan’s manifests itself day to day and is obvious to an outsider like me. I hope that by researching and writing about these things before I might experience them will help me to be more aware of the motivations & reasons behind them and my own reactions to them as an American. I hope that this will help me to gain a more meaningful understanding of the parts of Jordan’s culture that I will observe, as well as deepen my awareness of my own culture, and how it affects my perspectives.
Jordan’s geographic position at the intersection of three continents has contributed to its development of a diverse and rich culture, characterized by Arab & Islamic influences as well as exposure to Western ideas and practices. This diversity of culture is particularly visible in Amman, as over 60 percent of Jordan’s culture resides there. Other populations include the Bedouins, a semi-nomadic group of tribes who have historically inhabited the Levantine deserts, and share a common culture.
One of many sources of Westernization in Jordan can be traced to the heavy political and economic influence exercised there by the United States as well as the United Kingdom, through important trade links as well as interests in Jordan’s relationship with its neighbors; namely, Israel, Palestine, and now Syria.
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