Cairo – The Egyptians are both an ethnic group and a nationality that has a rich history known around the world. Living in the desert does not stop communities from fully experiencing the abundance of life around them through their cultural practices as well as modern developments. With a country’s culture and history that dates back to the ancient times of Pharaohs, what exactly is the beauty that lies beyond the heat of the sun and the vast desert lands?
The Country’s Geography
Located in North Africa, the country of Egypt is eight times bigger than the state of Ohio in the United States. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to its east. Egypt has an area of 385,229 square miles, with oceans and deserts that separate them from their neighboring countries. The Nile serves as an adequate water source for agricultural use. Consequently, almost 96% of the population lives in the Nile valley, which only comprises around 4% of Egypt’s total land area.
Language and Communication
Egypt is considered one of the earliest civilizations in Africa. Through the centuries, the culture and ancient traditions of Egyptians continue to be observed in modern times, although it is no surprise that these practices evolved because of the influence of numerous immigrants from different Arab nations. This outside influence can be observed largely in the language of the Egyptians.
Egyptians have been using both written and spoken Arabic for 13 centuries now, but the Egyptian language was originally in a separate branch of Afro-Asiatic languages. This particular language was one of the first written languages and can be seen in the hieroglyphs used in inscriptions for monuments and even on sheets of papyrus. Moreover, the Egyptians used Coptic in 639 AD. At the present, Coptic is being used as the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Egyptian language did not remain the same throughout the centuries, as the people are able to make their own forms. Compared to classical Arabic, there are now more variations in word sequences, as well as modern forms of style and phraseology. With these changes, it is evident that there are direct derivatives from French and English languages, which indicates how their culture has changed through time and how their means of communication adapted to those changes. Also, modern Egyptian Arabic has borrowed various structures and terms from Armenian, Greek, Italian, and even Turkish.
Literature and Art
Egyptian culture has a great impact on various artistic and literary studies, as many anthropologists and researchers have discovered various cultural treasures from the country. As one of the earliest civilizations in Africa, the records and ruins in Egypt provide a glimpse of their way of life in the past and even that of the present. This is a wonderful treat for anyone who wants to understand the ethnic groups of the country.
Egyptians have religious literature, including hymns and other texts that show the beliefs, practices, and traditions of the early communities. Furthermore, they have distinct visual arts, such as wall paintings being discovered, sculptures being recovered, and structures being excavated. These exude that particular beauty of the past that reflects the current lives of the Egyptians.
Image from BasiaBM, https://www.flickr.com/photos/alotofwords/
* This article was originally published on August 27, 2018 under the title A Glimpse of Egyptian Culture