Upper Egyptians And Gunshots: Customs A Sign Of Vulgarity?

1485 words - 6 pages

Diverse cultures in the different corners of Egypt convey the various views of life and many attitudes of the Egyptians. The right way to look upon these numerous tribes is not through their decisions or daily routines, but through their background. They may be different politically, but culturally, it would be almost as though they were one unity, just with different names. Although they are all descendants from ancestors originating from the Arabian Peninsula, Sei’dis, the line is drawn as to whether they are of higher nobility standards, descendents of Prophet Muhammed or not. For example, the fellaheen, a smaller group of people are not viewed of Arab origin as their ancestors are said to have converted to Islam after the Muslim led wars. Furthermore, there exist residues from Libya and Sudan who found a better life in Upper Egypt. That explains the tribal manner by which Se’dis live today. The tribal lifestyle resembles that of Feudalism as the power goes back to one man and he is viewed as the sagest, most powerful man in the community. Hence, their priorities begin with control, manhood and boldness. Upper Egypt stands out by not only its unusual lifestyle, but its inhabitant’s morals and powerful sense of patriarchy which is displayed in their behavior from their use of weaponry to their opinions on relationships.
An example of how power is conveyed in Upper Egypt is the use of gunshots in celebrations. What most would see as an act of vulgarity and ignorance creates the feeling of amusement and festiveness among the Upper Egyptians. Oddly, Upper Egyptian wedding rituals consist of men and women being separated in two different partitions where each can celebrate by their own preferences. There would be thousands of colorful light bulbs all around the buildings which bring life to the place, accompanied by folklore songs chanted by women and lively celebratory lullabies. Men dance with canes named Shumas and celebrate by firing gunshots in the air. These habits highlight their beliefs and preferences of what would most likely be bizarre to others.
The notion of power dictates a Se’di’s life to the extent that it affects his way of celebration. Firing gunshots does not only bring him fun, but it gives him the satisfaction of conveying his wealth and prestige which empowers his manhood. It is a sign of wealth and good it builds up his esteem to reach his self-actualization. The use of weapons surfaced in Upper Egypt began by the start of the 20th century due to chief officer Abdulrahman Abo Doma. Originating from a renowned family in Souhag, he describes the practice as a measure of authority and influence between the families. “The custom is not only related to wedding ceremonies but to any celebration in general. It differs from one family to the other according to the amount of bullets and the weapons used.” says Abu Doma. It is not at all hard to attain weapons in Upper Egypt. Most are smuggled from Iraq, Sudan, Israel...

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