Syrian Culture

Do's and Do Not's

play_circle_filled

Do’s

  • Be sensitive to possibility that a person may have ongoing mental or physical health problems from the effects of conflict. It is highly likely that a Syrian-born person in Australia has experienced undue suffering from the effects of the Syrian Civil War, the Assad regime or insurgent forces.  
  • If the opportunity arises, offer sympathy to the current situation in their home country. Syrians are likely natural respond well to warmth and deeply appreciate the gesture.
  • Expect a Syrian to try to get to know as much about you as possible immediately after meeting you. You may find their questions blunt or too forward (e.g. “Are your parents still alive?”), but be courteous and understand that this is the common way of acquainting themselves with people.
  • Relax and feel comfortable to speak informally. Australians can underestimate the easy-going approach of many Syrians. Though Syrian etiquette is noticeably cordial and chivalrous, this does not translate to mean people are uptight about their conduct.
  • Offer compliments and praise their good points when possible.


Do not’s

  • Avoid talking about the Syrian political situation unless your counterpart initiates the conversation. It is a sensitive and painful topic; they may not wish to recall or think about it. Additionally, do not ask your Syrian counterpart to explain the conflict situation to you. If this conversation does occur, you may find that they become dismayed/frustrated by the average Australian’s lack of knowledge regarding the biggest humanitarian crisis.
  • Avoid saying anything that could be taken as insulting or derogatory. Take an indirect approach towards corrective remarks, being sure to always include praise that minimises potential offence.
  • Avoid asking questions about a Syrian man’s female family members. It is appropriate and appreciated to ask someone about their family’s general health, but specific questions into the private lives of females can be mistaken for overt interest or even disrespect by conservative Syrians.
  • Do not patronise or talk down to a Syrian for having poor English skills.
  • Avoid telling dirty jokes. Such humour is not appreciated.
Syrian Arab Republic
  • Population
    17,185,170
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Arabic (official)
    Kurdish
    Armenian
    Aramaic
    Circassian
    French
    English
  • Religions
    Sunni Islam (74%)
    Shi'a Islam (13%)
    Christianity (10%)
    Druze (3%)
    Judaism (>1%)
  • Ethnicities
    Arab (90.3%)
    Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian and other (9.7%)
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 80
    Individualism 35
    Masculinity 52
    Uncertainty Avoidance 60
    Long Term Orientation 30
    Indulgence N.A.
    What's this?
  • Australians with Syrian Ancestry
    19,963 [2016 census]
Syrians in Australia
  • Population
    15,321
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Syria.
  • Average Age
    45
  • Gender
    Male (48.2%)
    Female (51.8%)
  • Religion
    Islam (35.2%)
    Catholic Christianity (18.3%)
    Eastern Orthodox Christianity (13.9%)
    Oriental Orthodox Christianity (10.5)
    No Religion (3.1%)
    Other (22.2%)
  • Ancestry
    Syrian (48.2%)
    Armenian (9.8%)
    Assyrian (9.8%)
    Arab (9.7%)
    Other (22.5%)
  • Languages
    Arabic (71%)
    Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (10.7%)
    Armenian (8.5%)
    English (5.5%)
    Other (4.3%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (72.9%)
    Not well (25.7%)
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (61.4%)
    Victoria (27%)
    Queensland (3.8%)
    Western Australia (3.4%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (70.1%)
    2001-2006 (13%)
    2007-2011 (12.2%)
Where do we get our statistics?
Country SY Flag