Most of the people in Jordan are Sunni Muslims, but there are also some Christians who are mostly Greek Orthodox, and sometimes Roman Catholic. In Jordan, Christians and Jews are treated with great respect and are specially protected, since Judaism and Christianity are seen as predecessor religions and therefore deserving protection.
There are hardly any conflicts between Christians and Muslims in Jordan, and Christian religious education is also possible in schools. However, it is not common for Christians and Muslims to get married. A devout Muslim would probably marry a Christian. The reverse is not possible, a Christian should not marry a Muslim. Here he would first have to become a Muslim himself before he can marry.
Religion is of great importance in Jordan, even if the country is oriented towards the West in some points and is also worldly shaped, it remains anchored in Islamic traditions. So here the Sharia applies to Muslims and Christian law to Christians, here a clear distinction is made.
Population – mixed
There are only a few people living in Jordan who can look back on a long family tree within the country. Many Jordanians are descended from people who fled to Jordan. About half of today’s Jordanians immigrated originally from Palestine. There are also Armenians, Circassians, Chechens and, due to the wars, many refugees from Iraq and Syria.
The population in Jordan is very young and it is increasing. On average, a woman in Jordan has 3.1 children. Educated women have fewer children, the birth rate is higher for poorer women, who often have four to five children. Many mothers are very young when their children are born.
Urban and countryside
In Jordan there are big differences between urban and rural areas on the one hand and between poor and rich people on the other. In the city, it is possible for most people to see a doctor or a hospital. This is much more difficult in the country. 80 out of 100 people now live in cities, with a large proportion (over four million) living in the capital, Amman. Lately, many people have moved from the countryside to the cities, which again presents them with major challenges.
Eating in Jordan
What do you eat in Jordan?
The Jordanian family likes to come together over dinner. The cohesion of the family can also be seen in people’s eating habits. Many Arabic dishes can also be found in Jordan.
What is breakfast like in Jordan?
Maybe rolls with jam? No chance in Jordan, there is something typically Arabic here, for example hummus, which is a porridge made from pureed chickpeas. Sometimes this is also called a foul, the content is very similar, namely a porridge made from broad beans. They are actually called that.
The most important meal is lunch
The most important meal in Jordan, however, is lunch. These include, for example, the popular starters called mezze. These can be served cold or warm. They are served in small bowls so that everyone can use whatever they want. Small pieces of meat, vegetables or salads and sauces are part of it.
An important component of almost every meal is the flatbread, which is often used for dipping and also spooning the food. The locals mostly eat with their hands, whereby you should only use the right hand here, never the left, because it is considered unclean in most Arab countries. In the restaurant you can of course eat with a knife and fork. Those who eat flatbread and starters are often already full, especially since the portions are usually plentiful.
A sheep’s head on the table?
Meat dishes are usually the main course on the table. Often it is lamb or chicken, rarely beef and never pork, because Muslims do not eat pork. Most of the time the meat is grilled.
The national dish of Jordan is called Mansaf and is served on a large platter. This is a very special Jordanian dish and originally comes from the Bedouins. The basis is a whole lot of rice on which parts of a mutton are served. And what’s special: the animal’s skull is still on it. If you don’t have an appetite then, it’s your own fault, think the Jordanians, because they love this food. Almonds and pine nuts are placed on top of the rice and the rice is soaked in sheep or goat milk. So the dish tastes a bit severe for our taste.
Another typical Jordanian dish is called musakhan and consists of chicken with onion sauce and served in a flatbread.
For dessert there are sweet things such as milk pudding with rose or orange blossom water, dry pastries with nuts or dates or the popular baklawa, a very sweet pastry.
Jordanians like to drink tea with a lot of sugar, sometimes also flavored with mint, Arabic coffee and many fruit juices such as fresh orange or lime juice.