Kuwait Culture, Map, Flag, Tourist Places
The State of Kuwait is a small oil-rich monarchy on the coast of the Persian Gulf, enclosed by Saudi Arabia in the south and Iraq in the north. The name is a diminutive of an Arabic word meaning "fortress built near water." Kuwait, which means 'little fort', is an Islamic constitutional monarchy in southwestern Asia. On August 2nd 1990 Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait, claiming it as its 19th province. This led to the Gulf War that liberated the country in 1991. In November 1994, Iraq formally accepted the UN-demarcated border with Kuwait that had been spelled out in Security Council Resolutions made in 1991 and 1993.
Kuwait consists mostly of desert, with little altitude difference. Kuwait is the only country in the world with no natural lake or water reservoir. It has nine islands, the largest one being Bubiyan, which is linked to the mainland by a concrete bridge (after the liberation in 1991 the island was converted into a military base and currently no civilians are allowed in). The islands are:
Although summers are long, hot, and mostly dry, with daily temperatures between 43º and 47ºC (110º and 120ºF) and high humidity in August, the fall and spring are pleasant and mild. Winters are short and relatively cool. Sandstorms and very hot northwesterly winds in June and July exaggerate the effects of the summer heat. Rainfall is scanty and some rain falls mainly in winter and spring.
Most of the population is concentrated in cities near or along the Persian Gulf coast. Approximately 45 percent of the people are native Kuwaitis, while the remainder is foreign workers. Kuwait also has a significant population classified as bidun (Arabic for "without"), who are not citizens of any country. Among Kuwaiti citizens the population growth rate is very high, probably owing to Kuwait's prosperity and high level of health care and social services. Nearly 50 percent of the population was younger than 25 years old in 1997.
Arab culture and traditions, anchored by Islam, are the secure foundations upon which the modern State of Kuwait is built. The metamorphosis in lifestyle brought about by the discovery of oil did not efface the identity of the people of Kuwait. The ravages brought by the Iraqi aggression also did not stifle the spirit of the Kuwaitis as they rebuilt their country in record time.
The State of Kuwait has always paid special attention to the preservation of its culture and heritage by maintaining monuments and preserving artefacts and historical documents. The National Museum is one of the 50 locations where these are housed. The destruction caused by the Iraqi troops created a heightened awareness among the people about the need to preserve and resurrect the art and craft of Kuwait. The new architecture of the city, which combines modern design with traditional art, reflects this awareness.
Kuwait has a large variety of customs and traditions, and this gives rise to a colourful and extensive culture, reflected in the Diwaniya, the Bedouin traditions and Al Sadu weaving. The people of Kuwait also have special love for the arts, be it literature, theatre, music, dance, films or contemporary art. The National Council of Culture, Arts and Literature (NCCAL); The Free Art Studio and The Kuwaiti Society of Formative Artists are promoting the visual arts in Kuwait.
Kuwait's first museum was the residence of Sheikh Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah. The archaeological discoveries at Failaka created a need for a place to house these important finds. A department of Antiquity and Museums was also set up. The department bought the former home of the Al Badr family in Kuwait City and turned it into the first national museum while waiting to build a museum fit to house the discoveries made in Kuwait.
Kuwaiti society bases much of its culture on the country's ancient folklore, which is replete with land and sea tales, riddles and proverbs. In 1956, the Folklore Preservation Centre was established to collect, record, and classify Kuwaiti folklore. Songs based on these tales are sung on public and private occasions.
The music of Kuwait is a reflection of its diverse heritage. Kuwaiti traders brought back music from East Africa and India. Traders from foreign shores left their music behind too. The result is the rich and vibrant sound of Kuwaiti music.
A traditional musical instrument of the Bedouin is the single-string 'Rubabah', made of parchment wrapped round a wooden frame. Other popular instruments are the 'Oud' (a lute), 'Al-mirwas' (small drums), 'Al-habban' (a bagpipe) and 'Al-tanbarah' (a string instrument). Songs are an integral part of dances that are performed at weddings and other celebrations.
Traditional dance is an important part of feasts and celebrations. The Ardah dance is performed by men at feasts and weddings. Dancers carry swords while dancing to the rhythm of folk music played on drums and tambourines. The Samiri , Fraisah, Al Zifan, Khamari, and Tanboura are dances that are performed by women at family and social gatherings.
KUWAIT National Animal : Camel
KUWAIT National Flower : Rhanterum epapposum
Kuwait National Name : State of Kuwait
National Capital : Kuwait City
Kuwait Area : Approx. 17,818n Sq Km (6,880 Sq. Mi), 0.01% of total
Kuwait Population : 3,051,000 in 2010 (0.04% in total)
Ethnicity in Kuwait : Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
Kuwait Languages : Arabic (official), English widely spoken.
Religions in Kuwait: Islam 85% (Sunni 70%, Shiite 30%); Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 15%
Currency : Kuwaiti Dinar ,KWD
Time Zone :
UTC+03 (Arabia Standard Time)