9 Things That’ll Prove You’re Truly Lebanese

@lamaisondelaforet / @thistimeinmykitchen

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While Lebanon is renowned for its mesmerizing dances, delicious cuisine, and the warmth of its people, let’s take a closer look at the everyday habits and playful quirks that keep the Lebanese spirit alive.

These unique behaviors and habits have been passed down through generations, etching themselves into the fabric of Lebanese identity. When we come together, we share and revel in these distinctive characteristics, turning them into anecdotes that unite us in laughter.

Let’s dive into the traditional habits and behaviors that characterize Lebanese daily life.

Mankoushe and Bonjus for breakfast

Let’s dive right into the heart and soul of Lebanese breakfast culture! We’re about to embark on a journey that’ll have your taste buds screaming, “Are you really Lebanese if you’ve never had this amazing combo for breakfast?”

Remember those blissful days of recess, when we eagerly lined up to get our hands on a piping hot thyme or cheese man’oushe?

The tantalizing smell alone would make any Lebanese’s mouth water. But listen closely, for the tale does not end with childhood nostalgia. Our love for this combo never fades, not even as we get older and wiser.

Our love for this incredible dish goes way beyond breakfast. It’s an affair that spans generations, a timeless connection to our roots.

Got chased by a parent wielding a slipper

This is the typical Lebanese child-parent clash scene. This image is engraved into the collective memories of all true Lebanese people.

Now, we laugh about these kinds of stories, about the time my parent ran after me with a slipper. Yet back then those moments struck fear into our young hearts, prompting us to seek refuge in our secret hideaways.

Overfed by your grandma

Among the Lebanese, there is an unsaid rule that: under no circumstances shall one leave their grandma’s house before eating at least 5 feasts.

Lebanese grandmas are absolute pros at overfeeding their grandkids. Can’t find your grandma? No worries, she’s probably in the kitchen trying out some new recipes just for you to devour later. You can rest assured that you will never get hungry and your tummy won’t even dare growl.

These grandmas have a variety of appetizers, main courses, and desserts ready to go, enough to feed a small army.

Stereotypical high-class jobs

If you ever dared to entertain the notion of pursuing a college degree outside the realms of engineering, medicine, or law, you were bound to find yourself in the midst of a heated battle with your Lebanese parents.

For as long as anyone can remember, Lebanon has held tight to a stereotype: certain professions are hailed as the epitome of success, satisfying any parental expectation.

We all fear the inevitable question “What do you want to do later”. It was the moment of truth.

You either had a smooth conversation if you aspired to be a lawyer, an engineer, or a doctor, or clashes erupted because you dared to hold on to your dream of becoming the next Shakespeare or Van Gogh, unwilling to abandon your artistic aspirations.

A butter cookies box without butter cookies

I can undoubtedly affirm that every Lebanese has, at least once in their life, got disappointed by the anticipation of cracking open a butter cookies box only to be met with a surprising twist: a sewing kit instead of those mouthwatering treats.

Lebanese mothers are apparently very eco-friendly. They transform any available food container into a multipurpose storage vessel.

No box shall go to waste in their hands!

Organize your life depending on the “moteur” or “kahrabit el dawle”

“Hadan yenzal y3alle ldisjoncteur”, “hayde kahrabit ldawle aw lmoteur?”

Those sentences are becoming the most used phrases in Lebanese daily life. For years, we’ve grappled with the persistent challenge of electricity woes, yet we’ve mastered the art of adapting and organizing our lives around this very issue.

It is typical for Lebanese to meticulously calculate the precise moment when the state-provided electricity will grace our homes, allowing us to turn on the water heater and indulge in the luxury of a warm and comforting shower.

And here’s a bet we’re willing to make: without a doubt, every Lebanese has at least once, engaged in a spirited skirmish with their family, vying for the honorable duty of venturing downstairs to reactivate the elusive circuit breaker.

Or perhaps you’ve already embarked on that mission, only to encounter your neighbor in all their glory while wearing your most unglamorous pajamas.

7up and “riz w laban” as a remedy

We’ve all had those dreaded sick days when our stomachs decide to stage a revolt. But hey, who needs the meticulously crafted remedies developed by doctors through years of research when we have the magical duo of 7up and “riz w laban”?

Lebanese ingenuity has embraced the power of the placebo effect. We feel oddly better and comforted when we have this combination for lunch or dinner, even if it doesn’t contain any medicine

Somehow, it just works its charm, and we find ourselves on the road to recovery, fueled by the potent forces of sparkling 7up and the simple yet satisfying concoction of rice and yogurt.

A trilingual flex

If you ever cross paths with any Lebanese, prepare yourself for a boastful display of their remarkable ability to effortlessly switch between a minimum of three languages in their everyday conversations.

Now, you might think it’s all about showing off, but let me tell you, the Lebanese possess a genuine talent for seamlessly blending French, Arabic, and English into a single sentence. It’s like a linguistic remix extravaganza!

The most common remix would probably be “Hi, kifak ça va?”—a harmonious blend that captures the essence of their multilingual charm.

If you ever want to have fun, try challenging a Lebanese into sticking to just one language for a solid 10 minutes. Trust me, it’s a recipe for comedy gold! The struggle to resist the temptation of linguistic acrobatics will be nothing short of hilarious.

Mario Kart but make it Lebanese Edition

Hold onto your seats, folks, because we’ve saved the best for last! Brace yourself for one of the most exhilarating and nerve-wracking experiences in Lebanon: driving.

If you thought you were anger-issue-free, think again, because once you hit the roads of Lebanon, a new level of frustration awaits you.

It is like you are stepping into the wild and colorful world of Mario Kart. Speed limits are overlooked and dodging obstacles is the new art you are going to master.

It is important to stay attentive at all times – motorcycles are racing in and out of traffic, and potholes are lurking everywhere like mischievous traps.

Just like Mario, try to arrive at your destination without tumbling into the depths of a tricky ambush!

To prove that the Lebanese are the best at karting, you can check out Lebanese winners at the MENA karting championship.

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