Customs of Algeria
Marriage and Family
Marriage represents the linking not just of individuals, but of families. Consequently, parents are closely involved in decisions regarding marriage partners. Women generally marry in their early 20s, and men a few years later.
Traditionally it was normal for three or more generations, including grandparents, married sons and their wives, and unmarried children, to share the same home. Today, in urban areas in particular, the smaller nuclear family has become more common. Male and female roles are clearly defined. Mothers are expected to care for the children and household, while fathers are responsible for family income and discipline. Children are expected not to question the authority of their parents and to take care of them when they are elderly.
In cities at least, French-influenced cuisine exists alongside traditional Algerian cooking. The traditional staple is el taam (seksul in Berber and couscous in other parts of
Although Algerians generally eat with utensils, some foods are eaten with the hand, especially dishes prepared with rich sauces, where bread is used as a scoop. Because the left hand is traditionally used for personal hygiene, only the right hand is used when eating without utensils.
There is a strong tradition of hospitality in
Recreation is largely a family activity and often takes place in the home. However, people also enjoy going to the beach, having picnics, and watching films. Soccer is by far the most popular sport in
Holidays and Celebrations
Muslim holy days vary in date from year to year according to the Islamic lunar calendar. National holidays include New Year’s Day (1 January), Labor Day (1 May), Revolution Day (19 June), Independence Day (5 July), and the Revolution Anniversary (1 November). The first of the three most important Islamic celebrations is El Aid Essgher, a three-day feast held at the end of the month of El Ramadan, usually in the spring. El Ramadan is the month in which El Qur’ an, the sacred text of Islam, was revealed to Muhammad. During this month, Muslims do not eat, drink, or smoke from sunrise to sunset. In the evenings, they eat and visit with family and friends. The second important Islamic holy day is El Eid Thamukrate, or Feast of the Sacrifice, which is held in conjunction with the pilgrimage to
Source: Encarta Interactive World Atlas