The Tunisian culture is much more than the contemporary way of life we see now in Tunisia, but the by-product of thousands of years of influence in that location. Located on the North coast of Africa, reaching into the tropical waters of the Mediterranean, Tunisia over the course of history has been a melting pot of different ways of life. In this article, we’ll be discussing the major influences over time and the result of those influences on the culture today.
The Carthaginians were the native population of that region, settling alongside what is now Lake Tunis. The Carthaginians ruled until the fall of their empire in the third Punic war, where the Roman republic defeated them turning it into what would then be called Roman Carthage. With that defeat, the pot of cultures started boiling. Over the next two-thousand years, cultures moved in and out of Tunisia with a strong wind. After centuries of a Christian presence with the Romans, the Arab Islamic conquest took hold and developed a strong Arabian influence.
After some time they were then occupied by the Ottoman Empire, and after that occupied by the French. This unique blend of lifestyles made Tunisian culture individual and unique by having no true native culture. Tunisia is the embodiment of cultures thriving and living alongside each other and is a great example of historical civilizations making what a country is and how they operate. Now that we’ve covered a history of the country, we’ll talk about the modern culture of the fascinating Tunisian people.
Unlike other countries, Tunisia has kept a lot of its influences from the past. Normally when an empire is overthrown, all remnants of their way of life are taken as well, but the Tunisian people have had the luxury of keeping a little piece of everyone who has occupied their land. Their architecture is as diverse as their heritage, in one part of the city you may find buildings with a strong Islamic influence while in the other a Christian one. Many cities had different architects from one building to the next with completely different backgrounds, making a walk through any Tunisian city an awe-inspiring sight. Their crafts and traditions vary, with cities and even villages having different attire or customs.
The food of Tunisia is fiery and hot, representing the nations that occupied it in the past well, while also blending Mediterranean cuisine to make a delightful meal. The most popular dish is a mixture of minuscule grains with various meats and vegetables known as Couscous. What may be the most interesting thing about them, is how progressive politically the Tunisian people are in comparison to other countries around the world, specifically in the continent of Africa. Women have the right to vote, own land, and even participate in politics.
In conclusion, if the country of Tunisia and its culture had to be summed up in one word, it would be mixed. Though they don’t have their own developed culture, the mixture of occupation in its history and how successfully those ways of life were kept, the land of Tunisia is truly an incredible place.