Controlling bits of the Persian Gulf trade and later being a significant player
in the pearl industry, the people of Kuwait gained money and trading power; this
was the greatest shift in the early history of Kuwait. With a prized resource, such
as pearls, people were willing to trade with the people so survival, food, and the
way of life shifted from being dependent on the land and sea to being dependent
on external products through trade. Although oil has replaced pearls, this dependence
of foreign trade is still the crutch of the economy and culture.
This dependency on foreign products continued and was magnified with the discovery
of oil in the 1930s. The population of Kuwait was too small to take immediate advantage
of this resource so began importing technology and people. This created a movement
of people to oil sights and cities and a change in the daily life from pearl diving
and trading to oil prospecting, drilling, production, sales, and shipping.
Today Kuwait remains fairly dependent on oil and the jobs that come with it. The
economy, jobs, and even education are focused on this industry and the way people
live, what they eat, what they study, and where they live is all influenced by this
In addition to oil making a huge impact on the way of life in Kuwait, the other
most influential cause of their culture today is their religion. As Muslims, the
people have numerous dietary, social, and religious rules that dictate social behavior,
eating habits, and religious rituals. In Kuwait most Muslims are fairly conservative
as the dress, diet, and lifestyle all reflect this.