What is the Dewaniya ?
The Dewaniya, commonly called Diwaniya, has existed in Kuwait since time immemorial. It was the reception area where a man received his business colleagues and male guests. Today the term refers both to a reception hall and the gathering held in it, and visiting or hosting a dewaniya is an indispensable feature of a Kuwaiti man’s social life.
The Dewaniya has its tradition in the Majlis where people would gather or congregate to discuss the pertinent issues of the day. While the Majlis may be described as more akin to a town hall in terms of function and formality, the Dewaniya evolved as a more regular and casual gathering place for families, tribes and any stranger that cared to attend.
As a social event, a Dewaniya takes place in the evening in a special room or annex which is usually separate from the rest of a man’s house. Only men are present and they sit around on soft benches or cushions, conversing casually, smoking, nibbling snacks and relaxing over beverages such as tea, coffee or the like. Relatives and friends come and go throughout the evening. The host’s job is to be hospitable and entertain his guests.
introducing the inspired organization: Cross cultural diwaniya
The Cross-Cultural Diwaniya is a monthly discussion forum where local residents gather to discuss topics of importance relating to the community – including social, political, and economic issues – in a multilateral and open environment. The goal of these discussions is to offer constructive solutions to the topics so that all residents of society can benefit.
to promote social equality and respect towards Kuwaiti residents from all walks of life. 69% of Kuwait’s population is expats and some of them are seen as occupiers rather than residents.