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Iraq

Interesting facts

Researchers claim that most Irish and Britons can trace their roots to Iraq and Syria.

The Martyr’s Monument (al-Shaheed Monument) in Baghdad was constructed in the memory of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq War. Shaped like an egg split open with an “eternal flame” in the middle, it houses the names, weapons, and clothing of some of the soldiers.

Iraqis celebrate two New Year’s Days. The first celebration is Muharram on the first month of the Muslim calendar. Some Iraqis also celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31 of the Gregorian calendar.

Traditionally, marriages in Iraq are arranged, though more and more Iraqis are choosing their own spouses, especially in larger cities.

Dance has played an important role in Iraq culture for thousands of years. One dancing style in Iraq, the hacha’a, is similar to belly dancing, but there is more neck and hand motion and less hip movement. A woman must have long hair because part of the dance involves swinging her hair to the music.

The traditional music of Iraq is the maqam, which is based on Arabic poetry and is very heart wrenching and slow. Maqam musical scales are said to have been influenced by the courts of ancient Arabic kings and by the Persians (ancient Iranians).

Traditionally in Iraq, more than half of all brides and grooms marry their first or second cousin.

In Iraq, as it is in many predominantly Muslim countries, it is offensive to use one’s left hand while eating because the left hand is considered to be unclean.

It is not considered rude in Iraq to eat food quickly or without utensils. In fact, it is a sign to the host or hostess that the food is delicious. Iraqis are also extremely offended if the family pet comes near the table during the meal.

If someone admires an Iraqi’s possession, such as a vase, the Iraqi will usually insist that the person takes it. Therefore, it is proper etiquette to avoid lavishly praising another person’s possessions.

 

 
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