By Lenka Khamri
Everybody who visited Tunisia had to meet them. It is so hard to not notice. They are everywhere - the doors. There is a plenty doors of various colours, size, design and decoration. Some of them are simple, some of them are decorated by pretty detail. But all of them are so beautiful!
The signs and symbols are arranged to respects a local customs and traditions and as well to respect the rule of a warm welcome. Tunisian people believe if they decorate their door in beautiful way like this and with some symbols, they will protect their home and attract the fortune, happiness and harmony. You can see symbols like the crescent and star, jasmine flower, hand of Fatima, fish or sign of the Tanit goodness.
These symbols have important meaning. Hand of Fatima is a symbol popular in the whole Arabic world. The shape of the open palm mostly with the eye in the middle should protect against bad devil eye. Symbol of Tanit goodness comes originally from the Punic era. Tanit is the goodness of fertility, love and pleasure, associated with good luck. Jasmine flower is the national flower of Tunisia. It has also a specific meaning – a man who wears jasmine on his left ear shows he is single, jasmine on the right ear indicates an engaged man. Fish is symbol of abundance coming originally from the Berbers. It should attract the plenty food to the house.
Not only the decoration but even the type of the wood is symbol of the wealth of the residents. The doors are handmade usually from the palm tree wood which is current and cheap. For the rich and noble houses is used an apricot wood which is precious and more rare.
Read the full article on page 114 in the TML Magazine Issue 1, 2018.
Lenka is based in Hammamet, Tunisia and writes regularly for TML.
Follow Lenka on Instagram @pure_tunisia