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The Culture Of Iraq


The culture of Iraq is diverse. About 75% of the Iraqi people are Arab.


15% of the Iraqis are Kurds. 3% are Persians. 2% of them are Turkomans and the other 5% are either Chaldeans, Jezira Bedouin (the Bedouin people mostly live in the mountains of the north), Assyrians, and Yezidis.

Most of Iraq's people live in cities. Only about 26% of the total population live out in the country.

97% of the Iraqi people are Muslims. The other 3% are either Christian, Sabaean, or Yezedi.

60% of the population of Iraq is Shiite. 35% is Sunni. The Sunni and Shiite people hate each other and are constantly fighting and killing each other. Hatred and killing between these two groups is a natural part of the culture of Iraq, going back centuries.

There are some rules to abide by if you get to actually meet some Iraqis during your stay.

First, if you are giving Iraqis food or handing anything at all to them, use your right hand only. Why? Because Iraqis use their left hand to hose out their privates in the bathroom. To them, the left hand is dirty, reserved only for this purpose.

In turn, if an Iraqi gives you food, receive it only with your right hand. Do not use your left hand to eat in front of them. You will fill them with disgust if you do.

No hugging, kissing or holding hands in public. This is offensive to Iraqis, unless two non-homosexual men are holding hands, which they do a lot.

If you are sitting and someone comes into the room, get up. Do not remain seated until you have been greeted.

When shaking hands, after each handshake, use your palm to touch your heart.

Do not show the bottoms of your feet to anyone. Keep your feet flat on the ground when you sit. The bottoms of the feet are seen as unclean and are a big insult to the Iraqis. If you enter an Iraqi home, take your shoes off at the door.

A man should never go up to a woman or even look at her until he has been introduced to her by someone else.

The culture of Iraq demands no low-cut clothing. Cover the shoulders, cleavage, and legs at all times, unless at the pool or the beach. No shorts or t-shirts unless you are swimming. Wear shorts and t-shirts instead of a bathing suit to swim in.