By Abdulaziz Al Jahdhami — Throughout the history of humanity, people of different origins, cultures and beliefs have developed strong and notable loyalty to their national traditions, rituals and symbols. In many countries around the world, all these cultural and historical aspects are not only respected but even celebrated during various occasions and events.
In fact, some traditions coincide with special occasions that are highly admired by people and celebrated instead. Other traditions are being practiced as part of day-to-day life activities. Although today people are getting influenced by the emergence of high technology, they are still attached and loyal to their traditions, culture and heritage too.
That’s why Omanis are still preserving their national identity not only in their national dress, but almost in every single aspect of their personal and professional lives.
The Omani culture and identity are being witnessed in all walks of our life.
Preserving the identity and culture is what distinguishes the country and its people from other parts of the region; this has been addressed by tourists and visitors to Oman.
To them, it’s really astonishing and mesmerising indeed.
Furthermore, most of the visitors to Oman have believed that Oman is really unique; perhaps the distinctive characteristics of the country and Omani’s hospitality and politeness proved to the whole world that Oman is really the jewel of Arabia.
The exclusivity of Oman in comparison to other nations in the region has attracted people of other nationalities to only to visit the country, but to call it home for many of them.
Hundreds of thousands of expatriates are enjoying life here with their families; in fact some have been brought up in Oman. Thus, they have a sort of belonging to Oman where they had their first kick and breath.
Regardless all the changes happening in the world and people’s embracing modern life, Omanis are still devoted to preserve their culture, heritage and traditions.
Even with the increasing demands and needs of living standard in our life, Omanis have never given up working in the traditional handicrafts industries.
But, they have set up their own businesses in different handcrafts such as ship making, textiles, silver industries and many others. To some families, their continuation to work in different handcrafts industries and professions is not only intended for the sake of making a living, but it reflects their passion and interest to maintain such industries.
Some are still keeping these traditions passed on from their ancestors and pass it to their siblings and grandchildren too.
Out of their love to that particular profession, family members are all valuing the importance of learning it and preserving it as part of their heritage and culture.
It’s really pleasing to see a father and son working together in a textile or ship making business; instead they are learning from one another.
What is really more thrilling is to see young Omanis in their twenties or thirties relaying on handcraft industry as a source of their income.
Although those people could get a better job opportunity with well-paid salary, they prefer to have a personal business in handcrafts.
I’ve seen many of them starting their business in such industries and they are doing well. Moreover, they are very professional and skilled craftsmen.
Believe once you meet any of those outstanding young craftsmen, definitely you feel extremely proud of them.
Some of them have already proved themselves in the market and have been a key supplier to some corporate organisations who are outsourcing gifts items.
Striving to appropriately market their products, they are always keeping themselves and their products up to the trend.
Also, they are trying their best to meet the tastes and preferences of their customers when branding or manufacturing the handcrafted items.
Likewise, they have been very creative and bringing the best quality of items while competing with international brands.
As value return to the country and culture, in a way or another we all should play our role in preserving our traditions, heritage and culture in all their forms.
Supporting young Omani craftsmen comes as a major way to contribute in sustaining the different handcrafts industries.
We can purchase their products and promote their businesses instead of looking for gifts or items of international brands.
Salute to all those working on handcrafts professions; just keep it up and teach it to the young generations.