Cultural and Societal Beliefs and Taboos in Saudi Arabia

Sawsan Abdulmohsen Alfaleh


This paper aims to report on diverse cultural and societal beliefs and taboos in Saudi Arabia in an attempt to touch on and develop a better understanding thereof concerning the inter-relationship between people, religion, and language within the Saudi Arabia cultural context. Given the Saudi Arabians' religious and cultural background as a source of controlling taboo (behaviour and) linguistic expressions, in this paper, it is assumed that identifying the function of linguistic taboos and who is responsible for promoting them is of significance to identifying the socio-cultural implications of linguistic expression of taboos. Investigating linguistic taboos, social taboos, and religious taboos has ended in having people with a view on taboos as being of a confining function to the social progress of Saudi Arabia and of acting as a stumbling block in the face of Saudi Arabia's progressive and globalized world. This paper has identified different taboos as stemming from different cultural opinions and backgrounds, but not religious per se. Religion has been identified as one of the critical aspects that have shade on Saudi socio-cultural activities, particularly those associated with prejudices. That said, this paper stresses the need to explain and sensitise people about common taboos to help minimise prejudices and thus change points of view among many people who are used to many restrictions for a wrong belief that links such restrictions with religion as an alleged source thereof. This paper tends to pinpoint Saudi media and the Saudi government as being responsible for promoting certain cultural values and beliefs (and thus taboos), and coiling people and modifying their culture for political purposes. This paper advances the existing knowledge base through its findings and conclusions. It is recommended that Saudi Arabia start by educating people about multiple socio-culturally related taboos, particularly those pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases and sexual problems.



beliefs, culture, religion, society, taboos.

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