In light of the health measures and social distancing rules imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, Kuwaitis are heading outdoors for local picnics known as 'Kashta' (Plural: Kashtat). Camping sessions are popular in Kuwait and the Gulf region as locals head out for a fresh air.
Kashtat are rumoured to have started in Saudi Arabia. The origin of the word is unknown yet linguists tend to agree that it stems from the Turkish 'kastanyola', which translates into an outdoor picnic. Kishtat take place for a few hours where families barbecue and play sports before returning at night while others decide to camp during the night. The inherited activity of Kishta provides ample space for recreation for many Gulf residents and expats alike especially given the unprecedented times of the pandemic.
Al Anba newspaper spoke with some local residents in Kuwait who commented on the trend. Fatima Al-Akkad said that, in relation to the conditions at the present time and the spread of the Coronavirus, the open-air strolls without sitting in closed places are safer as gatherings are avoided and home-cooked food is eaten in these outings. Traditionally, Kuwait beaches are packed yet the pandemic has forced locals for a safe and healthy alternative.
Business-minded owners of picnic sites utilised the opportunity offerings picnic packages for families while other offer luxurious VIP packages. The picnic sites around the beaches are some of the most popular hotspots for Kashtat as the atmosphere improves at night. The Kuwait authorities have, in turn, allowed for Kashtat to happen during certain hours.