Mali is a Muslim Country
For some reason, people seem to be surprised to find out that Mali is a Muslim country: 90% of the population identifies as Muslim, while 9% practice indigenous religions, and only 1% are Christians.
So when visiting, you should keep in mind that most things revolve around Islamic traditions - for example Friday is generally the day everyone has off (rather than Sunday) and many small businesses close temporarily each day for mid-day prayer.
This also means that most of the population dresses very modestly, so to avoid offending anyone, or just standing out too much, you should take that into consideration when deciding what clothes to bring/wear.
- Religious Travel
Reading the Coran is wonderful, it gives you mainly a message of peace. When I see that a lot of people use Coran to justify their crime (like Christians were using the Bible some centuries ago), I am happy to see that in Mali, there is no jihad and terrorisme based on Coran.
People here are religious. They respect the Muslim traditions and they also respect other traditions. There is no war because you are white or Christian.
I can just say: "Take Mali as an example".
As in a mainly Muslim country, people don't use toilet rolls in the WC but water.
There is a local company which created a kind of plastic teapot for this purpose.
It is funny see people going with their teapot, you know where they go.
Sometimes, the problem is that the WC seat is full of water when you wan to use it.
This collection at a tailor shop shows his work and the fashion in Bamako at the time (2006).
ps: tailoring is done - as in many African countries - by men.
- Arts and Culture
Participate in Id al-Adha
If you happen to be in Mali during Id al-Adha, at the end of the Ramadan, it is a huge event to slaughter sheep, visit your neighbours, etc. I 'd recommend participating in it as much as possible.
- Arts and Culture