We will talk here about 3 interesting habits relate to Egyptian culture.
The first habit: Attachment to government positions.
The second habit: Nairouz Day.
The third habit: Promotion in jobs.
Egypt culture: Attachment to government positions
A copy of a letter in the ancient Egyptians texts, sent from a father to his son, read • “I heard that you abandoned your studies, to have time for entertainment, do you want to be a peasant who hardly earns his bread with sweat?
- Do not ever be a peasant, a soldier or a priest; you’ll be more respected by all if you are a public servant.
- Then your house will have a full staff of housekeepers and servants.
- Since 5000 years, the sage Ptah-Hotep said “bow and show respect to your superior in the royal administration, so that you would keep earning your living, lead a decent life, and receive your salary.
- Don’t disobey him because disobedience of those having the power and authority entails devilish consequences.
Attachment to the official positions continued through Islamic ages.
Ancient Egyptian culture: Nairouz day
The ancient Egyptians had celebrated the “Spring Day” the way we do in Ester nowadays.
It was called “Shmu” in Hieroglyphs. Shmu was one of the seasons of the year and comprised 4 months from mid-February to mid-June.
The king, his ministers, and dignitaries took part in this day and considered it as a picnic in the early morning.
At dawn, they went out carrying jars of beer, which color resembled those of blood stains as offering to goddess Hathor to avoid her evils against mankind.
They also used to take in their picnics eggs, salted fish, onions, lettuce, Malana (Egyptian food), geese meat and grilled ducks. Some inscriptions referred to the Egyptians sanctifying the onions.
They had made rings of it around their necks or on their houses, and smelt it at dawn in the Nairouz day. The name consisted of two syllables (Nai) means new and (Roze); day, which makes it the “the New Day”.
The Persians took it to celebrate their New Year Day. Al-Bairouni stated the fact that the first one of celebrating this day was the Persian king Gamshet.
Their story started when he lost his ring and in consequence his kingdom. However, he restored it after 40 days.
He also restored his kingdom and birds. The Persians said “Naoroz or a new day”.
The Fatimids celebrated the Nairouz day where the people committed plenty of wrong-doings. Therefore, was urged to prohibit campfire at the night of Nairouz.
Nevertheless, people violated the caliph’s decree. Furious, he stopped the celebrations of the day and arrested the violators.
It was common to distribute gifts of coins, fruits, chicken, mutton, and beef in this day. Appointed was emir to supervise the celebrations during this day and distribute gifts to the dignitaries.
Nairouz day during the Mamluk reign
During the Mamluk reign, the celebrations took the form of national days and official holidays. People used to gather around someone riding a donkey.
He held palm tree branch, knocking on the doors of houses asking for money. Whoever refused to give him the money was scolded and showered with stinky water.
At the crossroads, they threw eggs, struck themselves with animal skin, and sprinkled water at each other. This habit considers as one of the most important habits of culture in Egypt.
Culture of ancient Egypt: Promotion in jobs
A well-known fact is that promotion in any position or job is desired and required.
Since the one who performs a job is expected to gain experience and knowledge, through which he becomes so skillful and efficient person that he would climb up the scale of the “organizational chart”.
The ancient Egyptians realized this fact, therefore their employees were promoted according to the period they passed in the position or the experience they gained in their careers.
We have the example of “khonsu”, who was born in 1320 B.C., and at the age of 16, he became a member of the priesthood of Amun.
He maintained this position until he was 20 and promoted to become the “Holy Father” of Amun for 12 years, the third priest of Amun for 15 years and the high priest until the reign of Ramses III (1202 A.H.).
The fact about promotions in jobs during Islamic Egypt
Meanwhile, in the Islamic ages, al-Malik al-Nasir Muhammed Ibn Qalawoun, was fond of bringing the Mamluks from Azbak Toueis, Byzantine regions, and Baghdad.
His demand for them was extraordinary and he paid dearly to the merchants who brought them.
In this respect, he disregarded the traditions of his father and predecessors who applied a promotion system with the Mamluks in the jobs they filled increasing their salaries from 3 to 10 Dinars per month.
He was in the opinion of satisfying those huge amounts of money every time.
Al-Maqrizi criticized al-Nasir because he disregarded the system of promotion applied under his predecessors, the matter which made him “exceptional” in this respect.
The history of Egyptian culture includes a lot of traditions and those habits consider among the most important of them.