10 Customs Only Lebanese People Will Understand

As Lebanon may be a relatively new country, there aren’t many traditions that the Lebanese can truly call their own. However, the locals have taken all the influences of other countries and developed a group of mannerisms only they’re going to understand. Nothing strikes trying to steer the strange social practices that the people of Lebanon have.

Lebanon may be a small yet distinct country. It’s around 160km long and 56 km extensive at its largest point, adjoining Syria, Israel, and hence the Mediterranean. The prevailing culture is fundamentally conventional and exhibits an outstanding deal of respect for traditions, moving on many Arab customs. Long-standing Islamic and Christian beliefs remain strongly ingrained in social standards and expectations.

However, many systems and lifestyles also indicate European influences. this is often partly thanks to its coastline’s proximity to Europe (as a key point of contact for trade between the East and West), also as a period of French occupation within the 20th century.

Ultimately, contemporary Lebanese society is very diverse. it’s common to ascertain both traditional Lebanese attire and modern European fashions in city streets. As such, the Lebanese people are conversant in a plurality of lifestyles and are often capable of easily adapting to other societies.

Lebanon is more collectivistic than many Western societies. Individuals often perceive themselves to be members of ‘groups’. These groups reflect or come to define who their members are and sometimes demand a high degree of loyalty. for instance , the group’s interests usually supersede those of the individual, albeit they conflict. Furthermore, group members expect to receive preferential treatment over anyone who isn’t a part of the group.

Reciprocally for this loyalty, a private gains a way of belonging, protection, and unity. The American University in Beirut conducted a study that concluded Lebanese people generally feel their collectivist loyalty is strongest for his or her family. Their subsidiary group support is then towards their belief, Lebanon as a country, their ethnos, and ultimately – party.

The Lebanese social hierarchy is stratified by class. Several of the variations in status are defined by wealth, which usually correlates along familial or spiritual lines. those that are wealthy are usually distinguishable by their lavish clothes and belongings that they proudly display.

People are frequently interacting across social classes. However, there’s a transparent social separation between those occupying rock bottom status – beggars – and therefore the remainder of society. The cultural concept of ‘filial piety’ generally demands that elders receive the utmost respect from those younger than them, no matter their social station .

The perception of honor once regulated much of Lebanese behavior. Though the respect code isn’t stringently followed, it’s left cultural imprints on communication styles. the respect culture is that the learned principle that folks should protect their personal and family honor at the least costs.

This requires individuals to submit a public impression of significance and integrity by emphasizing their family’s accomplishments and positive qualities. In Western society, self-criticism can position an individual beyond moral reproach by others.

In Lebanon, however, the expectations of society can pressure individuals to hide or deny anything that would tarnish their honor to avoid humiliating the individuals (or their family) by peers. Therefore, to stop such indignity in Lebanon, criticism is never given directly and praise is predicted to be offered generously.

The younger Lebanese generation generally doesn’t feel the necessity to strictly uphold the respect code. Such systems are more widespread among the older, more traditional population.

However, one’s integrity and dignity are still seen as important virtue throughout Lebanon. it’s arguably a reason why the Lebanese are particularly charitable and hospitable.

If you would like to start your Lebanese Arabic journey, then make sure to enroll in the FREE mini crash course!


Many Arab nationalities have their version of the Dabke, a standard sort of line dancing usually performed at parties. In Lebanon, the Dabke may be a sacred show of skill and geography. Every part of the country has its unique variation, and what might sound like aimless stomping to you may be a learned skill. Are you continue to have a tough time understanding Dabke?

Watching certain television channels

In Lebanon, TV time is sacred, especially when it involves parents and their eight o’clock news. However, the population thinks that every local channel airs news differently, which has resulted in every household having both a favorite and hated channel, bringing on many hilarious conversations and conspiracy theories about how journalists are biased.

Eating pita bread with everything

You aren’t Lebanese unless you eat pita with everything—even within the morning with Nutella®! On some occasions, some people will even scoop tabbouleh up with a bit of bread because the Lebanese believe that anything tastes good with this pastry.

Book stays and experiences, hand-picked by our travel experts.

Making up words to suit things

The locals are infamous for defying every grammar rule out of the book. If you’re new here, it can grow difficult attempting to navigate the new vocabulary. For instance, if you speak “Hi” or “Bonjour” to a Lebanese person, they could answer “Hi-yyen” or “Bonjour-ren.” The “-en” extension here corresponds with the Arabic affix that multiplies the word, which is to suggests that a Lebanese person will take your attention and double it!

Using words from three different languages

Speaking of being infamous for laughing within the face of language—the locals will baffle you with their established dialect. It’s a mixture of English, French, and Arabic (sometimes even more). Lebanon, having been a French colony, still exhibits tons of influences, especially with words like balcon, domage, and gâteau, which are so commonly used that folks forget they’re French. Pair that with modern globalized youth, and you get the maxim that’s in every joke about Lebanon: “Hi, kifak? Ça VA?”. (Hi, how are you? Good?)

Listening to Fairuz

In the morning—okay, all the time. If your parents didn’t wake you up because that they had Fairuz on too loudly within the morning, you weren’t raised during a Lebanese household. You haven’t been during a Lebanese car if you haven’t blasted Fairuz—in the morning. The singer has become a staple of the Lebanese identity, and her often crooning tunes make her an ideal option for a local’s morning.

Complaining about Lebanon

But missing it anyways. If you recognize a Lebanese one that is outside of the country, you’ve been baffled by the never-ending love and homesickness they pity the land of “friendliness and family.” What you’ll not know is that an equivalent person will spend hours complaining about Lebanon when he or she is there. If you’re Lebanese, then you understand this. The people of Lebanon embrace their country but from distance.

Using terms of endearment when arguing

If you recognize any Arab person, then you’re probably conversant in the word Habibi (my love or dear). Despite its meaning, you’ll hear it begin of a local’s mouth most when they’re arguing with someone. Terms like Habibi and Ouyouni (my eyes) are, to some people, exclusively used when angry. Among close friends, vow words are employed as terms of endearment instead.

Having to be home at sundown

As a Lebanese child, you almost certainly had good parents if you didn’t need to run home minutes before sundown. nobody has found out what it’s about sundown that has Lebanese parents everywhere in the country expecting their kids by the door with a glare. The adults themselves might not even know why they need that rule—only that they are doing. those self-same children that swear they won’t be like their parents?

The word Inshallah

The word Inshallah (or if God wills it) can mean several various things. you’ll ask someone for a favor, and if they answer Inshallah, they could be serious, meaning that they’ll roll in the hay later. However, if you are feeling the tone is off, then that person is perhaps being sarcastic, and therefore the word’s meaning ranges from maybe to never, counting on how sarcastic the person is being. If you ask your mom for something and she or he says Inshallah, then know it’ll never happen.

Lebanese Society and Culture

The People

There has intentionally not been a statement in Lebanon since 1932, before its establishment as an independent nation. this is often thanks to the political consequences of a serious shift within the population dynamics an accurate census could have. The population is usually viewed in terms of faith. The principal differences among people are those between Muslim and Christian factions. The proportion of every is politically sensitive so estimates from different sources vary widely. what’s known is that approximately 90% of the population is urban instead of rural.


Lebanon may be a religious mish-mash and this has ultimately been the cause behind social tensions and therefore the long, drawn-out civil. the govt officially recognizes 18 religious sects of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Religious differences are built into government and politics. Christians are assured 50% of the positions in parliament. The President is usually a Christian and therefore the Prime Minister and Speaker of the House are Muslims. The Druze are awarded 8 seats in parliament. the govt maintains that this technique prevents one community from gaining a plus over the others.

Religion affects most areas of culture. Family laws like divorce, separation, child custody, and inheritance are handled in religious courts and there’s not a consistent system for all citizens.

Loyalty to a gaggle

A person’s name and reputation are their most cherished ownership. This spreads also to the family and wider group. Therefore the behavior of individual relations is viewed because of the direct responsibility of the family. The Lebanese must maintain their dignity, honor, and reputation.

The Lebanese strive to avoid causing another person public embarrassment. this will be seen once they comply with performing a favor for a lover to take care of that friend’s honor albeit they know that they’re going to not do what’s asked.

Hospitable People

The Lebanese are pleased with their tradition of hospitality. this is often a culture where it’s considered an honor to possess a guest in your home. One should consequently not seen holding invited quite suddenly to someone’s home for something to eat as exceptional.

Guests are generally served tea or coffee immediately. courtesy dictates that such offers are accepted; never reject such a suggestion as this might be viewed as an insult.

Lebanese people are known for his or her hospitality. A handshake is that the normal sort of greeting. it’s acceptable to offer a little gift, particularly if invited home for a meal. As far as dress cares, casual dress is suitable for daytime wear, except in main towns where dress tends to be rather formal. Smarter hotels and restaurants often require guests to decorate for dinner. Since Lebanon is nearly evenly divided between those adhering to the Muslim faith, and people adhering to the Christian faith, visitors should dress consistent with the custom of the bulk within the individual places being visited. In 2012 smoking was prohibited in enclosed public places like cafes, restaurants, and hotels.

You might also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *