Thursday, March 17, 2005

Reviving The Tunisian Culture

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Yesterday Tunisia celebrated the Day for National Handcrafts and Traditional Costume. A day that Tunisians use to revive their beautiful culture and its different trends that have been preserved throughout the years.
Other than the exhibitions, seminars and the discounts on many items of the traditional costumes and handcrafted products, many Tunisians wear their traditional costumes on that day on their way to work (mostly in the public sector), which I find simply amazing.
Among the traditional costumes there is the “barnous”, the “qoftan”, and the most famous traditional Tunisian costume: the “Djebba”, which –in the case of men- has a loose wide form, decorated with handmade broidery, and comes in different colors. The female Djebba on the other hand has a different tighter form, the hand broidery is more noticeable and the colors are shinier.

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Of course wearing the Djebba isn’t limited to that day alone. Tunisians wear their traditional costumes on family occasions like weddings, or outeyya (a party for the bride few days before the wedding) or on cultural events. It is also popular to wear Djebba during Hadj (Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca).
The material used for Djebba differs and the prices differ accordingly. When handmade the Djebba is more expensive than when made by machines. And of course the beauty of the handmade Djebba is worth every Millime. The designs of Djebba also vary from one city to the other, but the general outcome is somehow the same.
The Djebba has become very popular, even tourists run to buy one.
I must say this one day celebration is very impressive and unveils a very beautiful side of the Tunisian national heritage that should make every Tunisian proud.

Speaking of this occasion, if you’re in Tunisia, don’t miss the “22ème Salon de la Création Artisanale”, an annual exhibition that offers a very wide and stunning range of Tunisian handcrafted and traditional products.
The exhibition takes place in Parc des Expositions du Kram, will start today March 17th, and will be open till March 26th.
I go there every year, it’s really amazing.

  • Sources: Préparez les djebba pour la rencontre des amis(FR),Journée nationale de l’habit traditionnel et de l’artisanat(FR), Celebrations(AR), (AR).