Lebanese Culture

Lebanon is slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut and home to ancient ruins, mountainous landscapes, and a unique society. While Lebanon has been greatly influenced by the West, traditional values still permeate Lebanese culture. Beirut, Lebanon’s capital, is the largest city, with about two million residents. Approximately 95 percent of Lebanon’s people are Arab, and 4 percent are Armenian. In Lebanese culture, family ties and personal relationships are highly valued. Lebanese people tend to be proud of their culture, heritage, and country.

Host a Lebanese student in the U.S.

Lebanese People and Community

Lebanese families tend to be close-knit and loyal. In rural areas, it is customary for more than one generation to live in the same house. Cousins maintain as close relationships as brothers and sisters. Urban families usually are smaller than rural families. Children receive strict discipline and are required to respect their parents and other elders. Lebanese families are typically patriarchal while mothers take care of childrearing and household chores. Among younger generations, gender roles are shifting as women are working outside the home.

Language and Communication Styles

Arabic is Lebanon’s official language.

Food in Lebanon

Lebanese food is strongly shaped by Mediterranean and Arab cuisine. Lamb, beef, and chicken are popular meats. Common dishes include various meat stews and some vegetarian dishes. Bread is a staple food, such as khobz (pita bread). Mankousheh is a thin circular dough, topped with herbs, cheese, or kishek (a yogurt and bulgur mixture). A traditional bread called lahim bi ajeen is topped with meat and spices. Some common desserts include fruit, baklawa (nut-filled pastry), meghli (cinnamon-spiced rice pudding), and mahalabiya (traditional pudding served with nuts).