The Culture of Kuwait

The people of Kuwait, in general, are very hospitable regardless of what religion is practiced. If someone is a guest in a Kuwaiti home, one can feel the warmth and respect the host exudes to their guests. They extend their hands casually when greeting somebody and sometimes would even give a peck on the cheek. Of course, men and women don’t kiss on the cheeks to greet each other unless they are relatives. It is also a common thing to encounter among Kuwaiti nationals to ask a lot of personal questions about health, occupation, and even health of relatives so as to make a newly introduced person relaxed and at ease. It is also noticeable that they give special reverence to their elders as they usually greet first the most senior as a sign of good manners.

Tea is an important fixture in Kuwait society as most of the time, when visiting a house, office or going to a shop, tea is readily served, or sometimes coffee. When a guest refuses an offer of tea or coffee, the host would feel slighted or insulted as the host would think that their hospitality and generosity were ignored. So, to avoid hosts from having that ill feeling towards a guest, it wouldn’t hurt to take a sip of what was served.

Another typical thing to notice about Kuwait’s culture is that men gather round a Dewaniya. A Dewaniya is a place that is separated from the main house where men-folk can hang out to discuss politics, business and current events.

Although, a pre-dominantly Muslim society, Kuwait is considered an advanced society by world standards compared to other Arab nations. This is due largely to women as having more important roles in the society. In fact, four women have won seats in the National Assembly elections. Indeed, a historic moment not just for Kuwait’s parliament but to Muslim women empowerment as well.