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Aspects of Cultural Duality in the Arab world

Popular VS. Governmental culture ‫اﻻزدواﺟﻴﺔ اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﻴﺔ ﻓﻲ اﻟﻌﺎﻟﻢ اﻟﻌﺮﺑﻲ‬

Language- Occasions- Names of places- Arts- Religion etc.
By Hussein Maxos 2002 http://hmaxos.com ‫اﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﺔ اﻟﺸﻌﺒﻴﺔ ﻣﻘﺎرﻧﺔ ﺑﺎﻟﺜﻘﺎﻓﺔ اﻟﺮﺳﻤﻴﺔ‬
The situation has never been like this before the twentieth century. Is it just because the
unpopular governments or dictatorships? This is true to a certain extent. Other factors include
traditional conservative societies that have strong moral values resist change, technologizing
and commercialism. Some Arab governments of small country and/or limited resources use
local popular culture, but extracted from their regional environment to strengthen their
separate entities.
Subject Governmental Popular Notes
Language Written Arabic: used in all Spoken Arabic: used in Language
types of writing and taught all types of speaking duality
in schools. but ignored by the started in the
educational system. nineteenth
Names of streets Official names (mostly Popular names (mostly Names of
and areas new) used in maps, signs old) used by people in new places
and written documents. speaking in all could be
Normally, represent names occasions. used by
of leaders or political people
Arts- Songs, theatre Elitist artists influenced by Handicraft workers. Pop songs
foreign trends. Political Folk songs spread over here are
songs which praise the limited areas and are categorized
rulers. Official theatre that not often on TV or as short-
presents translated works radio. Comedy works- living, mass
and often uses written local authors that use commercial
language and depends on spoken language and production.
symbolism. depend on realism.
Religion The ideal version of The practiced religion
religion that made that’s full of myths,
compatible with science superstitions and local
and most of its clergy work rituals. Its clergy have
for the state and has great influence over the
influence over religious people.
Occasions National days: represent Old religious and ethnic
political events achieved occasions.
by the ruling group.
Literature Literature produced by Popular poetry and
elitist intellectuals that is tales that are found in
circulated written in the local and private
books and taught in occasions and
schools. circulated orally.
Law Urban civil law influenced Tribal, ethnic, and local
by the western traditions.
Power and Depends on and Controls Develops and spreads
circulation the educational system, out away from state
mass media and cultural organizations and
organizations. official channels.
Age and duration Relatively short-living. Long living.