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Malawi is not only renowned for its richness in natural wild life and beautiful lakes, unspoiled National Parks but also the unequalled friendliness of the people of different ethnic origins crowned the countries popularity. It is really true in the simple sense of word. One district of Malawi celebrated their Fiesta in Town. We saw everywhere people in traditional colorful costumes, smiling, dancing on the streets in rhythm to the sounds of African instruments. We were welcomed whole-heartedly on our stay. We were integrated with the groups of dancers. It was lots of fun. The warmth, friendliness and acceptance made us happy and that was one unforgettable moments for us. This well-known title addressed to these people of Malawi, “Warm Heart of Africa” should be proud of their outstanding reputation.
Written Dec 28, 2012
The road construction workers did not build much of the new road that day, they were busy dragging and pushing all the trucks through the muddy area. We had a lot of entertainment watching other cars, minibuses and trucks struggling while we were waiting for our turn!
I was fascinated by the red soil! To me soil has always been dark brown / black and sand gray / brown. During our long journey I saw soil, clay, gravel and sand in all kinds of colours. Amazing what can occupy ones mind :-)
This of course took some time and made our detour due to the missing bridges even longer. Travelling through Africa in the wet season, this is one of the things you must accept.
Written Oct 11, 2005
Malawi bowl is a game that is played all over the place.
It is rather complicated, to me anyway.
It has to do with beans putting in 16 different wholes on a board.
They tried to teach me.
It seems the rules are on the internet.
I brought a Malawi bowl game home. So i will have to start practicing.
Written Feb 26, 2005
In Malawi (not sure about other African countries), taking pictures of the deceased is prohibited and you can actually spend time in jail if you do so. No joke. We found out about this when a family member took a shot of a funeral procession. We received a strict warning. A child had died, and as custom has it, the mother carries the child during the funeral procession, entire body covered, in a cloth behind her back. The village women follow in single file, wailing loudly in lament as well. It is very touching because they are all expressing their grief along with the grieving mother. No men are present during this procession (perhaps they are not allowed - not sure). Mothers with babies that are alive, carry their babies in cloths tied on their backs as well, except the babies heads are uncovered, unlike the deceased child.
By the way, televisions are banned from Malawi (or at least while we were there at the time), and I believe it was a prevention method to avoid the influence of violence. Not sure whether it worked or not. Also, women may only wear skirts or dresses and must not wear pants or shorts (basically, anything resembling mens attire). Perhaps the clothes rule only applies when one is not at the beach or swimming in a pool. But I am not sure of this one though. It does get quite cold in Malawi (no snow, though), so layer your clothes and bring thick socks to keep warm during the cold season.
Updated Sep 11, 2004
For those a bit on the conservative side, you ought to understand that for the locals, folkloric dance and song is an imbedded part of their culture. With each sway of their hips and rhthymic nod of their head, they are expressing their soul to you. Through this, they are communicating stories and sharing their traditions with you. They are fairly easygoing people, so feel free to nod along with them.
Written Sep 10, 2004
When shaking hands with the locals, you must accept their hand with both of your hands, sort of cupping their outstretched hand, as well as nod your head to them. They will do the same for you. So, as difficult as it is to explain, it's kinda like a 4-hand shake...haha! Yes, both parties cup each others hands. For the most part, they are fairly understanding if you fail to do this, especially being a foreigner, yet for them it is a symbol of you making a sincere effort to reach out to the other person. The picture I am including is one of a village meeting (I am guessing, since I think it was either my mom or dad who took the picture of them). By the way, this was somewhere in-between 1983-1985, quite a ways ago, but I'm pretty sure the culture hasn't been drastically changed since then.
Written Sep 10, 2004
Malawians are very friendly and `peace loving people`! Imagine: its one of the countries that never was fighting a war. It?s common to greet each other, ask how he is and what the name is. Ask them for their names it can be quite funny because Malawians have a nice sense of humour. I know a family were all the kids were named after Shakespeare?s characters or one was called Benson his brother Hedges!
People are polite and friendly. (Its probably the only country were i.e. the waiter will say `Thank You` when were thanking for the service) Often it can be seen that they cue up in a line instead of creating a chaos.
Learn a few words of Chewa and you will earn sympathy.
Moni! ? Hallo
Muli bwange ? How are you?
Ndili bwino ? I?m ok
Chabwino or chap ? fine
Zikomo ? please / thanks
Written Aug 10, 2004
These old beer glasses from Malawi are still going strong 30 years later! Here, is one of the two performing its job with a 'Propeller Extra Special Bitter' from the John Allen Brewing Company, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada!
Written Apr 2, 2004
I like markets everywhere in the world.
The markets in Africa are always very colourful and vivid.
I always like to find out what they are selling like herbs, spices, voodoo stuff, vegetables.
This lady at the Lilongwe market is gathering cassave.
Updated Sep 27, 2003
At the Zomba plateau I met a group of women.
They all were wearing the laundry at their head. In Ghana I saw they even had rather heavy pans with concrete at their heads.
They wear their babies on their backs in a cloth. This lady was very proud to show me her baby on her back and showed me how she tied the colourful cloth around her breast.
Updated Sep 27, 2003
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