Bahrain is a beautiful island located in the peninsula Gulf. I have lived on this island for many years and I have embraced many wonderful experiences. Having been brought up in a rural part of England, travelling to the Middle East always broadened my horizons in terms of culture and all the families from all over the world that you get to meet.
The Bahrain culture is an interesting mix of traditional and modern, cosmopolitan life. it’s a safe place to be with little crime and a culturally deep-seated respect for people and property. It is strongly family-oriented with the family being central to the culture. It‘s always heart-warming to see children and their parents gathering together, whether at home or out and about, in the mornings when the sun comes up or at sunset, walking or cycling, around the corniches or simply gathering to play and spend time together over a small barbecue.
The sea is very important in Bahraini culture, providing sustenance for the whole island through fishing and the once very strong natural pearl industry. It’s a fascinating sight to see the traditional dhows leaving the island in large numbers en route to the still rich fishing grounds or to visit the yards where the boats are built from.
There is a strong expat presence, especially from the Indian sub-continent, and wherever you go you can see the influence that has on daily life in Bahrain, bringing different culture, activities, food and flavours to the island.
The Muslim faith is not only instilled in Bahrain culture, community and life but it represents its very foundation, as it does in other Middle Eastern countries. You can walk around many corners and will find a mosque. They come in all shapes, sizes and designs, I don’t think I’ve ever seen two the same, there are many very beautiful buildings with intricately decorated walls and windows. It’s really quite moving to hear the Mu’azzin calling the faithful to prayer from the many minarets and to see men, women and families making their way to the mosques.
One of my favourite Bahrain experiences is the Farmers Market, a traditional weekly Saturday morning event amongst the trees of the beautiful Botanical Gardens located in Budaiya during the cooler months of October through to May. Local Farmers gather together to sell an array of home-grown vegetables and plants and other home-made produce. With many stalls displaying their wares with vibrant colours and the hustle and bustle of the many people and their families that fill the market, families gathering for picnics in the shade of the trees, it’s a true Bahraini experience. I love the atmosphere there and chatting to the locals who are so proud of their country, and of course it’s always fun to haggle with the stallholders over a few fils!
I have spent many memorable years here in Bahrain and I was very privileged to have experienced attending VIP weddings, where I was able to fully embrace the culture. For example wearing the Bahraini elegant traditional gowns because my love for fashion this was a highlight of one of my many fond memories.
One of my personal characteristics is supporting local charities; this is a passion of mine. What inspires me about this beauty spot, seeing people come together from all traditions. It is delightful to see unity amongst the locals, globally sharing and helping others. Bahrain has a special place in my heart and will always play a sentimental part in my life.