Learning About the Culture & Life in Bahrain

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Ahlan wa sahlan. That was one of the first phrases I learnt in Arabic, almost five years ago. I’ve lost touch with whatever little of this beautiful language I learnt, but that phrase has stuck with me. It is an old Arabic phrase that means, we welcome you.

Bahrain photos, Bahrain women photos, Bahrain fort

I landed in Bahrain without many expectations; a small city-state that has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, one that not many people travel to outside of business needs. At the airport, I could hear as much Hindi as Arabic, and I didn’t realize then that with the Bahraini stamp on my passport, I was being welcomed as much into the hearts, homes, and lives of the Bahraini people, as I was into the borders of (evidently) the most liberal country in the Gulf region.

In the last five days here, I have been overwhelmed by the camaraderie I’ve developed with the local people, inspired by the spirit of Bahraini women and men, and touched by the patriotic sentiment that seems to flow (almost) throughout the country. Bahrain reminds me of the romance I’ve sought in India for so long. To say that I’ve fallen in love will be an understatement; while I find the words to describe my experiences, I leave you with pictures to acquaint you with what I’ve seen of life in this island nation so far:

Life in Bahrain, living in Bahrain, Bahrain photos

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Coffee and food are national past times; in these quirky little coffee shops, coffee is served in the Bahraini tradition – only a couple of sips at a time, till you shake your cup to say ‘no more’.

Bahrain culture, life style in Bahrain, Bahrain pictures

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Graffiti and greenery; not too much of either in Bahrain, but when you do spot it, it stands out.

Bahrain photo gallery, Bahrain pictures, life in Bahrain

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And graffiti with a sense of humor! This relaxed vibe throughout the island and the openness of the people is what made me love the island almost immediately. 

Bahrain culture, Bahrain images

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Evening walkers soak in the seaside serenity of Bahrain; most beaches on the island are now privately owned, so this is about the closest you can get to the sea.

Bahrain beaches, Bahrain photo, Bahrain life style

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It’s true, Bahraini women drive really big cars!

life in Bahrain, Bahrain photos, Bahrain culture

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Someone partied hard last night! Artistic graffiti at Adliya, one of Bahrain’s most artistic neighborhoods.

expat life in Bahrain, Bahrain pictures

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A cosy little cafe in Adliya, owned by a Bahraini lady who also runs an art gallery next door. 

living in Bahrain, Bahrain photos

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Although these pictures show women wearing both the abaya (gown) and the hijab (head scarf), there are plenty of Bahraini women who choose to wear only one of the two, or neither.

Note: My trip to Bahrain is sponsored by Discover Bahrain and the Good Word Society, but opinions, as always, are my own. 

Shivya Nath
Shivya Nath is an Indian girl who fell in love with traveling, writing and social media. The first is the most thrilling, because being from a protective Indian family means every travel plan comes with a small battle. She says, "I’m not complaining. At my age, few from my hometown have traveled as much and as independently as me."

She juggles work, travel and blogging, until she finds the perfect blend of the three. Join her on her journeys around the world, as she seeks the most untouched, undiscovered of places that few have been to, and even fewer have written out.
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