culture

Tips For The First Time Travelers To Oman

If you’re planning on visiting Oman for the first time, then there are a couple of things to know that will make your travel experience even better. Oman is a wonderful country located on the Arabian Peninsula, with charming architecture and unprecedented natural beauty.

And if you’re looking to make your travel unforgettable, then consider reading this friendly article that we’ve put together aimed at first-time travelers to Oman.

It’s Quite Hot Down There

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Oman is very sunny and very hot throughout the year. There is no cold weather on the Arabian Peninsula, and Oman is no exception to it. There are two predominant climates in Oman. You have the summers, where temperatures can rack up in the mid-40s, and you have the “winter” when temperatures usually range between 17 and 25 degrees Celsius. However, the weather in the mountains is generally different than in most cities, with one of the colder places being the Al Hajar Mountains, especially during the nights.

The capital city, Muscat, is very humid and very hot during the day, and that will not change during the nights most summers. On the other hand, Salalah is quite different as it is the place that receives the most rain during the year. This makes the weather there very pleasant. For traveling purposes, we suggest you visit Oman during the winter season (October to February).

Travel Information

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Like most places on Earth, Oman requires travelers from certain countries to acquire a Visa before entering the country. Luckily, the Visa can be acquired eighter online or as soon as you reach the border. Visas range from 10-day stay to 30-day stay, to even an entire year. Prices for each go from $12 to $52 to $130 respectively. For more Oman Visa information, heads over to https://oman-evisa.com/

Respect Omani Culture

The people of Oman are very religious and it is even said that almost the entire Omani population is deeply rooted in religion, tradition, and culture. The people of Oman are very conservative and that is especially reflected by the way they dress and behave in public. Omani men usually wear traditional dishdasha, which is a piece of white or colorful long cloth that covers them entirely or they can be found wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but the former is more popular. They also wear a kummah, which is a traditional cap.

Omani women are also deeply rooted in wearing traditional clothes, which usually come in the form of a black or colorful abaya. The abaya is also a long piece of cloth that covers them entirely, usually accompanied by a scarf that also covers their heads.

While the people of Oman don’t expect you to wear their clothes, they do take offense when they see tourists expose too much of their skin. This is precisely why you shouldn’t wear a bikini in public spaces such as public pools or public beaches.

Money in Oman

The official currency of Oman is the Omani Rial. One Omani Rial equal to 1,000 baisas, which is yet another smaller currency. One Omani Rial equals to $2,60, or 2,35 Euros, or 2,15 GBP. Omani Rial comes in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 paper notes, and 100 and 500 baisas. You are not required to tip for services in Oman, but you can do so if you so choose to.

The Island of Jamaica: Travel Guide

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The tropical island of Jamaica, also known as the “land of wood and water,” got its name from the Indigenous Taino people who migrated to the island 2,500 years ago. Its unique history and African heritage heavily influence Jamaican culture. Initially inhabited by the Taino Indians from 1,000 BC., through the early 16th century, their culture thrived until the arrival of Spanish settlers. Due to disease, malnutrition, and slavery, the Taino civilization quickly became extinct. Christopher Columbus and Spanish settlers came in search of Gold and other natural resources, and Great Britain subsequently overthrew the Spanish in 1655.

General Facts About Jamaica

Over the preceding centuries, African slaves were brought to Jamaica, which has contributed significantly to the cultural expressions of music, dance, sports, literature, religion, and art. Here are some general facts about Jamaica that may not have known:

– The capital of Jamaica is Kingston

– Jamaica has a population of 2.9 million

– The official currency of Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar

– The official language spoken in Jamaica is Creole

Jamaican People And Origins

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The Indigenous peoples’ of Jamaica global contributions to society. The original inhabitants of Jamaica were the Taino Indians who occupied the island as far back as 1,000 BC. Throughout the island’s history, the Taino were subject to disease, and harsh working conditions and its original descendants have become extinct. Interestingly, the Taino have created several words, which are still used in the English language today. Hammock, tobacco, potato, hurricane, barbecue, cannibal, and canoe. The Taino helped shape Jamaican culture as well as many others. The Jamaican people enjoy a laid back lifestyle. Jamaica is considered one of the happiest places on Earth due to the relaxed attitude of the Jamaican people. The phrase, “No Problem Mon” and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” showcase this relaxed island lifestyle. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of their carefree lifestyle, yet a tropical climate, smooth beats of reggae, and authentic Jamaican cooking may be the cause. Jamaica is considered one of the most relaxed Caribbean countries.

Jamaican Music And Dance

Bob Marley is considered the Father of Reggae music, click here to see how you can visit his house and see one of the best known cultural contributions to Jamaica and reggae music. Reggae music originated in the early 1960s. Mento music predates Reggae and has helped influence its musical rhythms. This musical genre makes use of acoustical instruments, such as the guitar, banjo, and hand drums. There are several styles of reggae today, which include roots reggae, dub, and reggaeton. Reggae is one of the most Internationally recognized musical genres. Jamaican dances are derived from European and African influences. A majority of the dances in Jamaica are centered around religious celebrations. One famous dance in the Jonkunnu, which is typically performed around Christmas time. The Tambu dance is performed primarily for entertainment with a couple facing and moving towards each other. The Gumbay is a type of ritualistic healing dance similar to Myal with extravagant body movements. Jamaica has a wide variety of dances, some popular, and some obscure.

Facts About Jamaican Festivals

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Jamaica hosts vibrant, exciting festivals throughout the year. Some of the most popular festivals celebrated in Jamaica are Carnival and Reggae Sumfest. Carnival is typically observed in March before Easter and features music, dance, food, drinking, parties, and overall a fun party atmosphere. Reggae Sumfest is the largest music festival in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Sumfest is held every year in July in Montego Bay. Reggae’s popularity brings thousands of people to Jamaica each year.

Celebrating Jamaican history at the annual Maroon festival.

During the 16th and 17th century African slaves brought to Jamaica that escaped took refuge in the mountainous interior and isolated themselves. The term “Marooned” found its roots here. During the mid 19th century, slavery in Jamaica was abolished. Many of the African descendants that were marooned returned to the coastal regions. The maroon festival celebrates the peace treaty signed by the marooned slaves and British. The maroon festival showcases Jamaican history and culture.

Jamaican Sports

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Jamaica’s popular sports originated in Britain. Sport is a significant feature of Jamaican culture. Some of the most popular sports are cricket, basketball, football, track and field, boxing, and cycling, to name a few. Jamaican sports go beyond warm climate sports, despite being a tropical island, Jamaica has a bobsled team, as well as a ski team. Jamaica is also home to the fastest sprinter in the world, Usain Bolt. School children in Jamaica are actively involved with sports at an early age.

Jamaica is famous for its track and field athletes. Well known Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Veronica Campbell helped revitalize sports enthusiasm throughout the island. In 2011, Veronica Campbell won gold in the 200 meter World Championships in Athletics. Usain Bolt is famous for having set three world records in a single Olympic game. Usain Bolt is considered the fastest man alive and ran the 100 meters in 9.63 seconds in 2012. Jamaican athletes have collectively won 78 Olympic medals.

Jamaican Culture

The most well-known aspects of Jamaica’s culture are reflected in its various sports and music, followed by its authentic cuisine, and various belief systems. Jamaica has a long, rich history that’s brought to life through its multiple festivals held throughout the year. Jamaica’s cultural contributions to the world have taken this small tropical island nation too places as far away as Alberta, Canada.

What is Tzitzit and What Does it Represent?

Tzitzit means “fringes” in Hebrew and it refers to the strings attached to the four corners of the tallit. A tallit is a Jewish prayer shawl and it looks like a poncho which is worn under the shirt throughout the day.

Jewish people were commanded by God to wear the Tzitzit so that they can remember him and his commandments.  Rabbis constantly talk about how important the Tzitzit is; however, new information has emerged on the importance of it recently.

Tzitzit fulfills a couple of commandments in the Torah and most notable are those in Number 37, a portion called Pashat Shlah.

Jewish tradition requires Jewish people to wear Tzitzit throughout the day. It is supposed to be attached on all four corners of the garment one wears; however, in the modern day most clothes don’t have corners at all. So because of that, the Tzitzit is supposed to be worn on the prayer shawl or on the special small tallit. This tallit is called a tallit katan and traditional Jews still wear it under their clothes. The Tzitzit can be tucked inside or it can he hang from their tallit katan.

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There are a couple of ways how to attach the Tzitzit, but mostly it is attached to the knotted corners of the tallit, in a specific pattern.

But as time moves on, the tallit was replaced with jackets, trousers, shirts, and robes, so Jewish people have found new ways to fulfill the mitzvah. The first way was using a big tallit, which is essentially like the ancient times; the second way was by wearing the tallit katan, which is a more modern way and widely accepted amongst modernized Jews.

The Tzitzit which can be removed from one tallis and placed on a kosher tallis katan is eighter made of wool or cotton, but the former is more accepted amongst Jews. The Tzitzit is supposed to be sprung with the intention that It will be used for the mitzvah.

How to tie the Tzitzit?

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The Tzitzit is supposed to be tied on all four corners of the garment. You start by making four threats and you thread them through a hole. After going into each hole, look the Tzitzit so that there are eight strings hanging down. You need to knot the first few inches down so that the rest of the eight hang freely down.

Why is the Tzitzit so important to Jewish people?

There are multiple interpretations as to why Tzitzit is important to Jews. One rabbi reads a Talmudic passage and suggests that by wearing the Tzitzit, you obey the Shema.

Other say that it is a reminder that Jews are God’s servants – an interpretation by R. Hezekiah ben Manoach (13th century). God says that they must wear the Tzitzit so that they never forget that they are his servants and they are supposed to never forget the commandments.

Another explanation is offered to Jews in Torah Number 115.  The passage says that the Tzitzit saves Jews from sin. Often you can hear in rabbinic literature how people were miraculously saved from sin. Some suggest that this is because they wore the Tzitzit in the traditional way.

No matter what the explanation is, the Tzitzit is a tradition that all Jews need to follow.