Local traditions and culture in Africa

  • Lunch is ready
    Lunch is ready
    by zanzooni
  • local drinking mint-tea Meknes
    local drinking mint-tea Meknes
    by EviP
  • tourist drinking mint-tea, Meknes
    tourist drinking mint-tea, Meknes
    by EviP

Most Viewed Local Customs in Africa

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    Mint tea

    by SirRichard Written May 27, 2004

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    Probably the most popular drink in Morocco and all norther Africa. It was introduced in the 19th century by the british (who else?). Here they use the Green Tea (Gunpowder) with mint leaves and sugar.

    It is not only a drink (better than water for the thirsty moments) but a tradition and a ceremony (they prepare it pouring it from one glass to another). If you are offered tea, it's considered unpolite to say NO, so you better get used to it.

    You are even supossed to accept 3 glasses of tea at least, the 4th you can refuse... They say the 1st one is full of sugar as life, the 2nd sweet as love and the 3rd bitter as death!!

    Watercolor of a mint tea
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    Languages

    by SirRichard Written May 28, 2004

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    There are many languages and dialects spoken all through Africa, but what matters to travelers is "what language could I use in each country"? In the link below you will find a detailed list, but roughly this is how it goes:
    - French is spoken in most of West and Northern Africa, due to its colonial past, dependant from France. Though some young people, hotel staff and so speak a little english, speaking french in countries like Morocco, Senegal, Mali... will make your trip much easier.
    - English. Roughly, in east and south Africa. Though you can basically get through with english anywhere...
    - Spanish. Only in northern Morocco, Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea, former spanish colonies.

    Tombouctou, 52 jours
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    Bargaining

    by Wafro Updated Sep 3, 2005

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    Bargaining is a typical African activity.
    Keep in mind that most pieces aren’t fixed and you can start.
    The first time it feels wrong, but when you don’t do it they laugh with you.
    After a while you’ll start enjoying it and you’ll understand that it’s a part of their culture.

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    Drinking Tea

    by Wafro Updated Sep 7, 2005

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    Drinking tea is a national sport in many parts of Africa.
    The change exist somebody will invite you for a glass of tea.
    It's a social event and a kind of small ceremony, so you'll have to take your time for it.
    In Senegal the minimum for one tea session is one hour.
    In the beginning it's interesting, but after a several weeks you'll change your opinion.
    It could be very stodgy.

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    Mosques

    by dr.firas Updated Oct 1, 2005

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    Mosques are Morocco has the special style, with the cubic structure, and not silinder like in the Middle East, though it is less artistic in my eyes, but it is beautiful to have the typical local touch of the region!
    Islam is the second biggest religion in Africa
    after Christine's

    Africa
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    Churches

    by dr.firas Updated Oct 1, 2005

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    Churches are in the same special style in Morocco, with the cubic structure, it is fun to see that they have the same style, I saw one church in every Moroccan city, there are few Christians in Morocco, and the second religion there is Judaism, after Islam!

    Africa
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    LOL How can I forget!

    by dr.firas Updated Oct 1, 2005

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    I came to Africa thanks to my profession, as we all Doctors that passes their specialization in France had decided to pass the last 10 days of the lessons, lectures and practice in Morocco, that was more than great and a great occasion, why I adore my job, because it gives me such possibilities ;-D

    LOL
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    Exchanging addresses

    by Wafro Written Sep 6, 2005

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    When you’re an independent traveller or when you go on an organized tour.
    Many Africans wanna exchange addresses.
    So a small notebook is always handy and when you’re back at home you’ll always receive some letters.
    Don’t forget to write back!

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    Check this one made by me!

    by dr.firas Updated Oct 1, 2005

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    As in every page I make on VT There is a picture I am always proud of taking it!
    Here this one with the cool strong African colored carpets and the Old Moroccan Uncle walking with his stick
    I think it is the local typical custom of North Africa!

    Africa
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    The Masai people

    by Wafro Written Mar 12, 2008

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    The Masai are members of the Nilotic tribal group and they live in Kenya and Tanaznia. The Masai are a well known colorful people who are mainly cattle and goat herders. They like to adorn themselves with colorful cloth and beads. Wealth is measured in cattle. The traditional villages surround a central area. The young males go through a period of warriorhood before they marry. Men generally make the tribal decisions and care for the cattle. The women build the houses and talke care of the home.

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    Making charcoal

    by Wafro Written Mar 12, 2008

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    Charcoal is a formless mass of carbon and can be made from most tree types. It is one of the oldest of man-made fuels and has been prepared under the ground. They chop a tree, saw it in large pieces, cover it with sand so the gasses can’t escape, you put it on fire and time will do the rest. Charcoal is still a major source of energy throughout the world.

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    Pygmies

    by Wafro Written Feb 22, 2008

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    There are many different 'Pygmy' tribes: Baka, Bambuti, Batwa, Bayaka and Bagyeli. They live scattered over a huge area in central African frorests: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo (Brazzaville), Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. In many places they are recognised as being the first inhabitants of the region. The different Pygmy groups speak different languages, mostly related to those of neighbouring non-Pygmy peoples. Never call a pygmy a pygmy, but use the name of the tribe!

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    Cultural differences

    by Wafro Written Mar 31, 2008

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    During your journey in Africa you'll probably get into situations where you can lose your patience.
    That's mainly because of the cultural differences and than you'll have to control yourself.
    Africans our relaxed and polite people and you'll lose all your credits when you become angry and aggressive.
    SO RELAX AND GO WITH THE FLOW.

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    Water transport

    by Wafro Written Sep 15, 2011

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    In many places of the African continent water is still transported manually or should I say head(ly)? In rural areas water supply is the day job for women and children, the fill their jugs or buckets with river-, source- or pump water. Sometimes they have to walk for mile before they reach clean and potable water. I once tried to balance a jug filled with water on my head, LOL. This is something you do when you have a lot of experience.

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    Local toys

    by Wafro Written Sep 16, 2011

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    Many African kids don’t have the luxury to afford toys as they do over here, but the elder people are inventive and they prepare there own. Maybe next time you should bring some cars or dolls along. Give them to the mothers and never directly to the children otherwise you could create beggars.

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