Founded on the core cultural principles of honour, sincerity, hospitality, integrity, sensitivity, and adaptability, Lebanon’s predominant disposition is fundamentally conservative and exhibits a great deal of respect for Arab traditions. While many practices and lifestyles reflect European influences (partly due to a period of French occupation in the 20th century), long-standing Islamic and Christian traditions remain deeply ingrained. Contemporary Lebanese society, however, is highly diverse, even though it remains collectivistic wherein individuals perceive themselves to be members of ‘groups’ and are sworn by oaths of loyalty. The #Lebanese social hierarchy is determined by class and as such differences in status are determined by wealth which correlates often with familial and religious lineages.
The word ‘Loubnan’ derives from the Phoenician for “white mountain” and denotes the country’s mountain regions, some parts of which remain snow-cladded all year. The Lebanese speak Arabic, French, English, and Armenian with the Beirut accent being soft and mellow and indicative of social status and geographic location. Following the end of the civil war, most Lebanese are tired of conflict and are trying to put their differences behind as they reconstruct their country. The majority of Lebanon’s population is urbanized and lives in the main cities of #Beirut, #Tripoli, and #Sidon which are densely populated. Food is an integral part of family and social life in Lebanon – #pita bread and #hummus being the most well-known culinary exports.
Lebanon has been known for its artists such as Fairuz and novelists such as Khalil Gibran Khalil. Oral literature is preserved in villages, where the zajal, a form of poetic contest in the Lebanese dialect is alive and enjoyed by everyone. Traditional pottery-making is popular in the coastal towns, such as Al-Minaa and Sidon. The Baalbek temple complex in the Bekaa Valley has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site among several others.