The difference is only in the temperature and the presentation. In both the Arab world and the South, the use is the same.
Southern families serve sweet tea with just about every meal. It’s the house wine of the Southern states, and no meal would ever be complete without it. It’s not just for mealtime either, it’s for sitting around with the family or with friends, when people are just “shooting the breeze” as we say.
Arabs serve tea with every meal as well, and it’s also something to drink while socializing. People drink many cups of it every day, as the Southerners are drinking iced tea by the gallons.
English and American cookbooks report that tea has been served cold at least since the early nineteenth century, when cold green tea punches, heavily spiked with liquor, were popular. These punches went by names such as Regent’s Punch, named after George IV, the English prince regent between 1811 until 1820, and king from 1820 to 1830.
Iced tea’s popularity comes along at about the same time as refrigeration. The “icebox” as it was known was in place by the middle of the 19th century, and the term refrigerator was used for the first patented ice box in 1803. After that, the term “refrigerator” was common.
In the Middle East, coffee was the drink of choice until Indian traders began to sell tea in the Middle Eastern region, which was also in the late 1700’s. Since then, tea has been largely known for it’s heart healthy benefits and it’s pleasant taste as something you can drink loads of, as Arabic conversations tend to last for hours sometimes. (Just like Southerners)
So, whether it’s cold or hot, the two cultures are both tea cultures, and it’s become a large part of how we sit together and spend time as a family.
If you want to read a great book that centers around the idea of the two cultures being connected, have a look at DESERT MAGNOLIA by Dedra L. Stevenson on http://www.bluejinnimedia.com and sign up for our mailing list while you’re online for special offers, new products and contests. https://bluejinnimedia.com/community-signup/
As I proceed with this blog, I’d love to know what your questions are. What would you like to know about a blonde Southern woman who successfully (at least most of the time) lives in the Middle East? I know you’ve got lots of questions, so feel free to comment and let me hear from you, or write me an email if you want to ask privately. It will help me tailor my blog posts to answer what you’d like to know.
Here’s a little video for you, a personal message from me. 🙂
Image courtesy of Photokanok at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The internet made the world become smaller in many ways, but lately, it seems that the world has separated again. Rather than becoming one human species, we seem to be holding even tighter to the “US vs. THEM” mentality. Does that mean that we are in fact “devolving” rather than “evolving”?
I moved to the Middle East more than 25 years ago. You may find this hard to believe, but I hadn’t even traveled internationally before. Americans may not be surprised to read that, as it’s not uncommon for many in the USA to never even apply for a passport. In many cases, people feel that they just don’t need one.
I got one, however, and I used it. I came to the United Arab Emirates when I was 24 years old, and I did it solely for love.
I knew my husband could never be away from his family for years at a time, as he was much closer to his family than I was to mine, so I agreed to come and live here. I really felt that it was such an adventure I was going on…a new land…a new language….new customs. I had butterflies, as somehow I always knew that I’d never live my entire life in Alabama.
The trip went well, especially considering that my husband and I were coming over with our 7 month old son. I had been “briefed” by the Saudi Arabian women that I knew in Alabama on Arabic customs, and felt completely ready to meet his family.
When I actually reached the home of my mother-in-law, however, something happened that set the fear in motion. I heard that big Arabic gate slam behind us. At that moment, my heart fell into my stomach. My immediate thought at that point was, “Oh God, I’ve ruined my life! How could I have done that?”
Thankfully, once I got past the initial shock, and I got a job, my own car, and a few friends, I felt much better! It didn’t take long to figure out that people are basically the same wherever you go, and Arabs and Southern people have more in common than either group would ever imagine. We sit in the kitchen drinking our iced tea, and they sit in the kitchen drinking their hot tea. They want to be known for being the most generous people to all their friends and neighbors, and so do we. They like big homes, big cars, and luxurious surroundings, and so do we.
Once I eased into seeing our similarities more than our differences, life got a whole lot sweeter!!! Just like a big glass of sweet tea? 🙂
If you’d like to read more on this, why not give Desert Magnolia a try? Find it and all of my works on http://www.bluejinnimedia.com