Saudi Arabia: The Bedu Room

One thing I enjoyed very much in Saudi Arabia was how many Saudi homes would have a “Bedu room.”  The Bedu room is a simple room.  The floor is generally covered with small mats that are covered in the traditional fabric favored by the Beduions.  Oblong cushions generally align the walls.  This is a room where the occupants kick off their shoes and relax on the floor leaning back on the cushions.

The Bedu room is where friends and family relax.  They may enjoy cups of kawah or Saudi tea while they visit and chat with one another.  Some may enjoy relaxing with a hookah (hubbly bubbly) by their side filling the room with the aromatic smell of apple or pear tobacco.  The Bedu room may have a flat screen tv on the wall where the women will enjoy their favorite soap operas together or the men will gather to watch a soccer game.

In our rental apartment we had a traditional Bedu room.  Abdullah and I would relax and sit in the Bedu room after dinner.  We’d enjoy some tea and each other’s company.  Our villa did not have a Bedu room or in fairness we did not create a Bedu room inside of our villa.  Instead we would replicate the feeling of a Bedu room outside in our large courtyard where we could lay back on the cushions and look up at the sky filled with stars.

This link shows a photo of the Bedu room which we had in our rental apartment.


19 Responses

  1. Sounds lovely, kinda like the “loft” and/or “den” area of a US home! I love sitting on the floor!!! The outdoor room sounds lovely, too.

  2. In my opinion, I really don’t enjoy a bedu room. I am living in Saudi Arabia and in my home I didn’t do a bedu room.

  3. Yah theyre the best!We are not currently in Saudi but we have a bedu room set up for hubbie to use when his guests are over but in between we love to lounge around in there having coffee . far away from the noise of the kids which is bliss!

  4. I guess it has its pros and cons. A big pro/con would be age. The younger you are, the more you are likely to enjoy a bedu room. Kids love them! Frankly, I used to find them exotic and actually liked them for several years. We’ve created a few in the countless places we’ve lived. Let’s just say, that as long as I don’t have to keep jumping up to get something, I can enjoy this immensely. On the other hand, and I’m sure you will agree, it’s much better to be a guest to fully appreciate the bedu room. The guest is not up and down on the cushions, interrupting their lounging and comfort. Or maybe age is creeping up on me. (I sound almost crochety!) LOL

  5. I love the bedu room, creates a new atmosphere..kinda like a picnic but indoors lol.
    In saudi women around 50 and above especially those who grew up as bedu’s actually do most of their home activities whilst sitting on the floor such as preparing food/sewing/reading/cooking/sleeping and all the rest and altho in the west its kinda hard for us to adapt to but i love to see the real bedu ppl in their element.

  6. This is the beauty of easy and simple living. Dont you think so? Try wherever you are.

  7. I’ve tried it Sami, sorry, nothing beats a La Z Boy recliner or any other recliner that I can easily get up from. But I can’t seem to enjoy eating and/or drinking while sitting on the floor or while in a reclining position.

  8. omg i love La Z boys or those self massaging recliners…awww heaven. I find it uncomfortable to do the eating and drinking thing sitting onda floor too but i love watching the pro’s do it and eating so delicately with their fingers. They seem so comfortable and im just looking at them thinking..i wish i was feeling the same way but my legs are aching.. its weird maybe u get used to it after a while?

  9. lovely carol, we have a combo indian bedu spot in one corner of our sun room, i love it, low diwan type furniture and lots of cushions…
    lynn – sitting on the floor cross legged comes with practise 🙂 it’s easy especially if you’ve been doingit since birth. else it’s a pain ( literally )
    My grandmom still sits ont he floor to chop veggies 🙂

  10. And is it still easy for your grandmom to get UP too?

  11. I must be in the minority in that I tend to prefer the floor to a recliner. If it’s a hard surface like a hardwood floor, then the recliner is typically better for sleeping, though. My friends think it’s weird when I choose to sit on the floor over the couch, sofa, recliner, etc. but I usually find it more comfortable. Even for typing on the computer, I will usually choose the floor in my room over a chair or bed.

  12. Sure, but you must remember that you are not called StrangeOne for nothing! LOL

  13. There’s a restaurant here with a bedu room! I still haven’t managed to get some friends together to eat in the bedu room…

  14. Better hurry and get them together…have a bachelorette dinner there!!

  15. @lynn – Yes she does 🙂 but ofcourse with effort.

    She prefers the floor or the swing , even on the swing she sits cross legged – indian style !!! i can attest to her excellent Knee joints .

    I sit on the floor too leaning against the couch or against my daughters or F’s legs..while those on the couch can massage my head if they feel like it . . best place to be – i guess till my knees give out

  16. as mentioned in an earlier comment, my MIL is among the Saudi women who will sit on the floor among the cushions and she will sew, prepare meals and other activities. It’s what she prefers and is natural to her.

  17. Sometimes, my grandparents will choose to sit on the floor, too, but tend to choose sitting in chairs over the floor.

    @Lynn- LOL!

    @AB & Radhaa,
    I’ve never really prepared a meal sitting down. I wonder if it is more relaxing than standing while preparing a meal? My lower back seems to hurt after standing over a table chopping veggies, etc. after a while.

    How are you adjusting to being in the US? If you have any more questions about the area or need anything, I’d be happy to help if I can. The restaurant sounds interesting…now I want to look up more info on Arabic restaurants in the area! LOL.

  18. In Thailand sitting on the floor is common but we sot with our legs to the side. I still like sitting on the floor as long as it is clean and people haven’t been walking on it with shoes on. I hate wearing shoes in the house!

  19. Welcome back, Onigirifb.

    I agree with you; it’s much nicer to be bare foot in the house.

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