Jordanians love to watch sports on television. When
a soccer game is broadcast, a group of fans will gather to cheer their
favourite team. Car racing is also popular, especially the annual races
called the Jordan Rally and the Jabal ar-Rumman. Camel and
horse races take place in the summer, but spectators cannot bet on the races,
since the Qu'ran, the Muslim holy book, forbids it. Camel races are
different from horse races because camels do not run as fast as horses,
although they can cover longer distances.
Other favourite activities are martial arts such as
karate and tai kwan do. In the Gulf of Aqaba, waterskiing
and scuba diving are popular sports.
Backgammon (which Jordanians call tric trac) has
been a favourite pastime for centuries. People often play on beautiful inlaid
or mosaic boards. Archaeological digs in the Middle East have uncovered gaming
tables with designs similar to backgammon boards that date back more than 5,000
years. The game relates to the calendar. There are 30 discs, for the 30 days of
the month, and they are black and white to symbolize night and day. The 24
positions represent the hours of the day. Jordanian men like to play the game
in coffee houses while puffing on a water pipe and drinking coffee.
Did you know? |
Many men like to relax after work in coffee shops where
they can smoke an argeeleh, or "hubble-bubble" pipe. It gets its nickname
from the bubbling sound it makes when the smoke is inhaled through a water trap
and up a hose.