The greatest thing about the worldwide that we are different. These differences make the world interesting. These differences are not limited to one country but could be from one region to another. In my paper, I will discuss the way of hosting guests in the west part of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I will discuss how to greet guests, serve them Arabic coffee with dates, make conversation, serve the meal, drink the Arabic tea, serve Arabic incense and say goodbye for another meeting.
First of all, greeting the guest. The thing that it might not be known about the trips in Arabia, that they greet their guest by shooting in the air. It is a sign that shows happiness. The weapons that are used are different from one area to another and from a tribe to another. Some trips use a machine- gun like my trip, the others think it is enough to use the handgun. On my trip which is called ”Al-Khazraji” after they are great by the gun, they sing words that refer to the welcoming. That was known too long ago about my trip especially when he greeted my prophet Mohammed peace be upon him when he immigrated from Mecca to Madinah. After that, the oldest guy from the guest speaks to the oldest who is welcoming them and tells him that it was their pleasure to come and visit such generous people. The guest comes and they great the others starting from the right of the Al-Majles to the left. The Al-Majles is a bigger living room specified for guests. The oldest of the host house should set in the right of the Almajles then the oldest from the guest.
Serve the Arabic coffee with dates
The most important thing in greeting guests is serving coffee. Serving the Arabic coffee represents an official welcome. Arabica coffee beans are grown in the south region of Saudi Arabia and it is the only coffee that is used for welcoming gests. My tribe usually makes the coffee with cardomen, cinnamon, and a little bit of ginger and saffron. That symbolizes the hosts because cardomen and saffron are very expensive. When my family is celebrating a special event, they add extra cardomen. Arabic coffee is served in small cups. There are two types of cups, bigger ones, and smaller ones. Usually, guests are welcomed with a small cup of coffee. There is a particular way of holding cups and pouring the coffee. Usually, the youngest son holds the coffee pot in his left hand and the cups in the right hand. He pours the coffee into the cups. The coffee level should not exceed half of the cup. If he pores more, the person whom the coffee meant for is insulted, because it means we do not want to serve you again. In Saudi Arabia, we take the time to enjoy coffee with wonder species. The oldest in the Almajles will be served the coffee and dates first.
The speech that happened between the hosts with their guests is about how are they. They will be asking each other if everything goes ok with them. Then they will ask each other if anyone from each of the families needs help. After that, they discuss who is from both of the families that need to be visited for their event and they start to organize for it. If someone from each of the families has a new baby, they prepare for it or married or graduate.
Serve the Meal
An invitation like this will be for diner and rarely will be for lunch. At least whole sheep is served with wheat or rice. It is called either Mofatah or Kabsa. The kitchen is not close to the Almajles, because impolite that the guests smell the food. Most of the time the food is cooked in a restaurant or the yard by the male housekeeper. After that, the meal is served on the grounds. The elders sit together and the kids sit separately. The person who starts to eat first is the eldest. All the guests say loudly ” Bism Allah” which means in the name of God. Besides the roasted sheep, there will be a sour salad, samosas, buttermilk, and fruit.
Drink the Arabic Tea
After having the meal, it is time for tea or Chai. We drink the tea with a particular mint called Handbag. There are different types of mint leaves we have in Saudi Arabia, such as Madini, Taifi, Utah, Dosh, Lama, and Ward. Usually, the guests chose what mint they like to have with their tea. Sometimes we drink a regular black tea with saffron. For this very special tea, the guests all thank and say words of appreciation to the hosts.
Serve Arabic incense
It is commonly known that after you eat, the food smell stays on your clothes. Serving incense after eating is a necessary thing. It is not served after eating just for guests; usually, Saudis use incense regularly after lunch. The only type of incense that is preferred for guests is Oudh. We have other types such as the blue stick, Maynooth, Sandals, Mashrook, and Senate. The Mubkarah which is the container of the coal and the Oudh should pass every single guest in the Almajles. After that, the last one will take it to the coffee table to leave it burning there.
Prepare to leave
After that, the guest gets prepared to leave. They wear their Ghutra and Egal because they removed them before eating. They should make a good comment about the lunch and how it was. They tell the host that they want to see them as soon as possible visiting them in their house. They keep talking about that till they get a promise for coming. The hosts leave the Almajles with them till they reach their cars. It is the time for the good buy, they kiss the noses of each other by then.
It is interesting to see how part of one country is different from the other. Some people from another society like the differences and some are not. As what we say” the fingers in one hand are not the same” or” One type of fruit taste different from one farm”. In my own point of view, I like the multicultural and respect the differences that any other society has.