Culture and traditions, preferring boys to girls in Egypt

Facts about Egypt culture

Preferring boys to girls is a very famous tradition through the history of Egypt culture.

It is commonly known that people in general favor having boys than girls because the son is usually regarded as the helping hands for his father and the latter is taken as an example by the son.

This is not the case with the daughter. The Sultan is often succeeded by his son. Meanwhile, upon the death of the master of the household, his son and not the daughter takes over the responsibility of the family.

In the British Museum, a commemorative stela is on display which reads “you savants, priests, princes, nobles, people and those who may come into this corridor.

  • Listen to me. I was born on the Ninth day of the Fourth month inundation in the Ninth Year of the reign of King Ptolemy XIII.
  • On the first day of the Third month of the summer of the year 23. My father got me married to an old priest Picherintag.
  • He felt sad when I gave birth to three daughters and not any sons.
  • I prayed together with this elderly priest, and the god Amenhotep son of Petah was kind to me to give birth to a boy.

Meanwhile, al-Maqrizi mentioned in his “Khutat” that “Khond Ardotkin”, the daughter of Noahkia Silihdar had conceived from Sultan al-Ashraf.

When he thought that she would give birth to a boy to succeed him, he started big celebrations and requested his “First Minister”, Al-Saheb Shams El-Din Mohammed Ibn El-Sal host to send a message to Damascus to have 100 candlesticks made encrusted with the titles of the Sultan, and another 100, fifty of which are gold, and the other fifty in silver, 50 embroidered and horse saddles, and 1000 candles.

However, she had given birth to a girl. He got depressed for it.

However, he had not canceled the orders already made in Damascus and instead they were used in the celebrations for circumcision of his brother Mohammed, and nephew Muzafar El-Din Mussa the son of al-Malik al-Saleh Ali Ibn Qalawon.

The above indicates clearly the craving desire and keen interest of the Muslim rulers in boys to succeed them and the kings of ancient Egypt was not exceptional in this concern.

Until today, this custom survives and in particular in the countryside and will continue regardless of time and place. It is a very common custom in Egyptian culture.

This was expressed in a bedside song by the mother:

When I gave birth to a girl.

They fried me the eggs with the shell,

And instead of the butter,

They cooked it in water”.

When they knew he was a boy,

They peeled the eggs for me,

And instead of water.

They added mire butter.

Although the song seems naïve, it reflects inherited ideas and traditions that the Egyptians generally favor the boys than girls.

And old Arab poet deserted his wife because she failed to give him the long-awaited boy.

The wife expressed the situation in the next few words: why Hamza is no longer in the house he is always in our neighbor’s house.

He is upset because I failed to give him the boy as if this is something I can control.

The history of culture in Egypt includes a lot of traditions, and this habit considers one of the most important of them.