Algeria is an Arab country located in North Africa, which lies on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. As the world’s tenth largest country, Algeria is the biggest Arab country. Rich from its large resources of natural gas reserves, Algeria is considered one of the Arab Powers.
In fact, Algeria has the second largest oil reserves in the world. In addition to its wealth, Algeria also enjoys having the highest human development index of all landlocked African countries. Currently, Algeria is a member of several large economic unions. They are as follows: the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations and the Arab Maghreb Union.
However, coming to this peak in their success was not easy. Algeria has a rich history wrought with war and conquests. Formed as a country in 1515 as the territory of Al Jazâ’ir under the Ottoman Empire, Algeria was then colonized by the French in 1830. Finally, in 1962, the French rule was lifted and Algeria gained its independence.
If you’re an individual looking to traveling or work in Algeria, it is always advisable to research the culture of the country thoroughly first. However, delving deep into research may be an unnecessarily time-consuming task.
As such, we have detailed this guide for you with all the important points on what the culture is like in Algeria. For ease of reading, we have split this guide into the following sections:
- Ethnic groups
- Dress code
- Places to visit
Naturally, because of their colourful history, Algeria is home to a very diverse population, with a range of different ethnic groups. In essence, there are three major ethnic groups; These include the Arabs, the Berbers and the Europeans. However, in addition to these major ethnic groups, there are also smaller minorities. These minorities are comprised of the following; Corsican French descended Europeans, Spanish descended Europeans, Italian descended Europeans and those with Maltese ancestry.
The official languages of Algeria are Algerian Arabic and Tamazight, commonly called Berber. However, Algerian French is also widely spoken in both official and unofficial contexts. English, is unfortunately not widely spoken in Algeria. In response to this, the Algerian government has taken steps to increase English Language education in the country.
Algeria is mainly a Muslim country, thus making Islam the official religion. However, it does have minority groups of those who follow Christianity and Jewism.
Due to its rich cultural history, Algeria has a mix of both traditional and European influences in their everyday clothing. Moreover, due to seasonal temperature changes, Algerians typically have a changing dress code. Although it can be said that in general, due to religious influences, Algerians dress in a slightly more conservative manner.
Food culture of Algeria
Food is a huge part of Algerian society. With various waves of immigration, Algeria now has a unique cuisine. In fact, did you know Couscous actually has its origins in Algeria? A feature in any Algerian meal is freshly made bread, accompanies with a fragrant meat dish. Below are some must try dishes from Algeria:
This a common breakfast dish and is made of shredded bread that is blended into a stew with a meat such as lamb. It is commonly served with vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and garbanzo beans.
A hot soup, Harira is common during the fasting month. A hearty dish, it contains a meat, typically beef or lamb, beaten eggs, rice and a variety of herbs.
A favourite across the globe, Couscous is made of steamed semolina. This dish is usually accompanied by a meat and vegetables.
A long bread originally from France. Baguettes can be found in any bakery across Algeria!
Those with a sweet tooth, rejoice! Makroudh is Algeria’s favourite dessert. This sweet pastry made from a semolina and flour based dough is stuffed with nuts, dates and an almond paste.
Visit cultural places in Algeria
Now that food is covered, you may need to find places to eat the food in. Don’t worry, we have you covered!
A port city, Annaba contains many beautiful ruins of villages and temples of times past. As such it is a scenic and idyllic place for a visit.
Ghardaia is a city located in the middle of The Sahara. Full of colours and rich traditional sights, Ghardaia, is the perfect place for souveniers.
A sleepy seaside town. Djanet actually is home to a national park as well as having a full view of the mountains.
The capital of Algeria. This city strikes an intricate balance between being a metropolis and having gorgous natural scenery.
If you are looking for a place with remnants of Roman history, Setif is the way to go. Filled with the ruins of ancient Roman civilization, Setif also has much of French culture still imbued within it.
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