Social Life in Palestine: Palestine as any other country has its own social life that is somewhat similar to some neighboring countries such as Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. The nature of the Palestinian social life has been formed by many factors including the occupation and the influence left by the nations who resided in Palestine for decades in the past.
The social relations in Palestine are characterized by being linked, tight and close knit. Palestinians are friendly people who love living close within their family sharing joy and sad times together. Social life in Palestine has many different aspects of which we will discuss below.
Palestinians are linked to their families
All Palestinians have a strong sense of belonging to their families, these families are there for them in times these families take responsibility in case of anyone of the family did something harmful to others or committed a crime. The family is considered a representative for every individual in the community.
Being linked to a big family puts you in a better position in society and gives you better social status amongst other people in the city. In Europe for instance, and other western cultures, individualism is dominant. Such communities believe that each person has the right to live their life independently and do whatever they see fit for their own life as long as it is within the law.
In contrary to these communities, society in Palestine defines and forms the person within the community and gives them a social label, yet at the same time they are never alone when they need help. Family will always take care of their own.
Palestinians are close to each other
Palestinian people are known for being close to each other and their relationships are tied tightly. This means that neighbors in the same building for example know each other very well and they often they invite one another over for social occasions.
Palestinian people are not conditionally hospitable
Many internationals who come to Palestine and stay with a Palestinian host family always wonder they should do in return to the family for their generosity. What foreigners don’t know is that Palestinians are friendly people and being a guest means that you must be taken care of.
Palestinians families might invite you to go out to a coffee shop without letting you pay and invitations to weddings or family social occasions are normal. Palestinians may invite people they have just met over to their homes and this is not something to be alarmed at, the people here have trust in humanity and love to connect with individuals from other parts of the world.
No girlfriend or boyfriend concept in Palestine
Palestinians do believe in marriage and making families yet there no concept of girlfriend or boyfriend concept in the Palestinian society. Palestine as a Muslim country forbids any relationship between a boy and a girl before marriage and this of course means that they forbid sex before marriage. Sex before marriage is considered to be adultery in Islam which makes it forbidden in Palestine.
In Palestine, you can’t talk loudly about your love for someone everything is much more secretive until they decide to get married and they love together under the same roof.
No hugs no kisses
Palestinians are somewhat conservative, not as strongly as the Saudis for example but on a moderate level. Hugs between a girl and a boy is forbidden socially as well as kisses, however there are people in Palestine who are an exception to this rule especially Christians or even some Muslim families.
However, kisses and hugs are common between people of the same sex. Palestinian men kiss each other on their cheeks when they meet each other as signs of affection
Can I shake a Palestinian girl’s hand?
Of course, you can but only if she initiates and offers you her hand first. If she does so then it is fine to shake her hand otherwise don’t since some girls are shy about that and in some cities like Hebron is not popular that men shake women hands.