My country the UAE is rich in culture and traditions. Lets explores the ancient traditions of the UAE many of which are widely practiced today.
The sea has always provided a valuable source of food for the people of the UAE.
The Arab dhow is one of the most graceful sailing craft that one could encounter anywhere. The Trucial States were well known for the prowess of their sailors and the sleek lines of their vessels.
One of the most fascinating interactions between nature and man is that which takes place between the bird and its handler in Arabian falconry. The training of the falcon was completed by the day when the first houbaras arrived and the bedouin would hunt the bustards with his falcon throughout the winter months.
The Date Palm
The relationship of the bedu with their palm trees is as important as that between man and his camel. Even though both date palm and dromedary cannot be considered to be truly wild now, it was the bedu that tamed both and put them to good use for his daily life.
The camel – God’s gift to the bedouin
The bedouin like to say that God has been fair because He gave them the ideal tree for their desert, but He has shown His bounty by giving them the camel as well. This animal is not only as superbly suited to the desert environment as the date palm, but it also provides for almost all the further needs of its owner. The camel gives the local tribesman his mobility.
Pearls and Pearling
The lulu (locally called qamashah), or pearl oyster provided a source of local wealth in the emirates, long before the discovery of oil. Pearl oysters occur naturally on relatively shallow banks (fasht) in the Gulf. As pearling flourished, an increasing number of the able-bodied men participated in the dive (ghaus) during four months in the summer.
The Arabian Horse
The Arabian horse is as much a part of Arab tradition in the UAE as the camel or falcon. Today great efforts are made to preserve the true character of the breed and the Arabian Horse Society in Abu Dhabi is at the forefront of this effort. The breed owes much to the discerning eye of Emirati and other Arabian horse owners who have always shown a fine appreciation of form and movement in the horse and cooperated to ensure that a purebred line was established.
Music and Dance
The Emirates enjoys a strong tradition of music and dance which played a vital role in many aspects of its people’s lives. Songs were composed to accompany different tasks, from hauling water at the well, to diving for pearl-oysters out in the Gulf. In the latter case a professional song-leader was kept on the pearling dhows whose job it was to rally the men to work through music and song. The naha’an, as this person was known, would launch into song and all the sailors would join in as they worked. Each song had a rhythm for a particular task and, like the sea-shanties of western sailors, the music became an inspiration for good team-work.
Young girls would dance by swinging their long black hair and swaying their bodies in time to the strong beat of the music. Men would re-enact battles fought or successful hunting expeditions, often symbolically using sticks, swords or rifles.
Source: UAE Interact