We are well aware that Lebanon has been a vacation hotspot for visitors, including Lebanese descendants, from all around the world. They all come to enjoy our beautiful Mediterranean Sea, our ambiance, our sites, and our good food, to name a few. And when it comes to our dear Lebanese people raised abroad, we can instantly recognize them as such, for a simple reason: We, raised in the homeland, have certain distinctive characteristics that, unbeknownst to us, combine to say out and loud, “I’m so Lebanese!”
People raised in Lebanon definitely have a distinctive type of humor, which most people around the world find considerably charming, even amusing. The plus side to it is that we all understand the inside jokes of each other. We tend to find humor in even the darkest of situations, and that’s just how we were raised in a country that is too often facing crises and quakes (not the natural ones): To make the best out of the worst.
People raised in Lebanon are notably fun. No matter where or with whom we are, we always manage to spice up the ambiance with more fun, always finding ways to light up a room with lively sparkles. Our natural joie de vivre is irresistible and speedily contagious. Just take a look at our parties, weddings, events, and even simple dinner gatherings… You got to give it to us; we are unbeatable in that!
There is something about the way you’re raised Lebanese that just makes you spontaneously generous at heart. You don’t stay idle in front of others’ suffering, and you don’t walk by an incident in the streets as if it is none of your concern. You simply run to help; even if you know you are going to get in trouble, and that sometimes it’s really none of your business.
“Walking in Beirut is like walking amidst a fashion catwalk.” That has been the most uttered statement in recent years by Europeans when asked about their trip to Lebanon. But that is not restricted to Beirut. Being raised in Lebanon is being raised with a strong sense of fashion and attention to the neatness of our looks. The level of our income can’t even interfere with that when living in Lebanon. We always manage to look our best.
You can still easily recognize whether a Lebanese was raised in Lebanon or not by his or her fluency in politics, mostly in local and regional ones, but also worldwide. We are all raised experts in politics from a very early age -that being the most talked topic at home, on family gatherings, at every sebhieh, and on the streets- and we just relish in discussing it everywhere and at all turn. Forget about a university degree; we really don’t need it when we are raised in Lebanon.
I left the most important aspect for last, and that is the food in the Lebanese culture that raises us. We grow up learning to appreciate the most delicious cuisine and in abundance. Mezza is not the only thing we love plentiful, by the way.
One has only to see the profusion of home-prepared food on our tables in our gatherings or when receiving guests. “Eccentric” has been said of us abroad in that regard. In Lebanon, we proudly call it Karam el-diyefi el-Lebnenyeh: The Lebanese generous hospitability. Only if you are raised in Lebanon, you go to all extent in preparing food for 10 times the number of guests.