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BITS OF CULTURE - Algeria
 
Languages
Map
Cultural Values
Main Religion & Death Concepts/Rituals
Health Care Values
Diet
Interesting Facts
 

Languages

Official language:
Arabic

Other languages:
Berber dialects
French
Kabyle
Shawia
Tuareg

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Map



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Cultural Values
  • Small family units consist only of a husband and wife and their unmarried children. Upon marriage a young man who can afford to do so sets up a household for himself and his bride, and on the death of the head of an extended family, male members and their dependents break off into separate households.
  • Marriage is traditionally a family rather than a personal affair and is intended to strengthen already existing families. An Islamic marriage is a civil contract rather than a sacrament, and consequently, representatives of the bride's interests negotiate a marriage agreement with representatives of the bridegroom. Although the future spouses must, by law, consent to the match, they usually take no part in the arrangements.
  • A woman must obtain a father's approval to marry.
    Muslim women are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims; Muslim men may marry non-Muslim women.

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Main Religion & Death Concepts/Rituals
 
Health Care Values

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Diet
  • Couscous, a semolina-like pasta made from cracked wheat, is a staple food in Algeria and throughout North Africa. Rice is also a popular staple, and chickpea-cakes make a cheap and tasty accompaniment for food. Pizza, fried chicken, and potato fries are popular among younger Algerians.
  • Stews like shakshuka, with vegetables, and tajine, with lamb or chicken, are popular everyday dishes.
  • The traditional diet of desert nomads is based on couscous and the meat of the sheep or goats they herd. When traveling, desert people carry pressed dates or figs, and hard cheese, which keeps for a long time. Flat, unleavened (yeast less) bread can be baked in the hot embers of camp-fires. Hot, sugary mint tea quenches thirst and boosts energy.

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Interesting Facts

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