Local traditions and culture in Mozambique

  • Pic's author: AJD
    Pic's author: AJD
    by MarioPortugal
  • Local Customs
    by DAO
  • Local Customs
    by DAO

Most Viewed Local Customs in Mozambique

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    LANGUAGE LESSON NUMBER 1

    by DAO Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The people of Mozambique speak Portuguese as a legacy of their colonial past. Here are a few phrases to get you started!

    Olá Hi
    Bom dia Good morning
    Boa tarde Good afternoon
    Boa noite Good night
    Como está? How are you?
    Muito bem, obrigada Very well, thanks
    Obrigada Thanks (for a woman)
    Obrigado Thanks (for a man)
    Adeus Goodbye
    Tchau Bye
    Até logo See you later

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    THE FLAG

    by DAO Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The current Mozambique flag was officially adopted on May 1, 1983. It consists of three equal horizontal bands of green (top), black, and yellow with a red isosceles triangle on what is called the ‘hoist’ side. The Green colour stands for agriculture, Red sybolises the struggle for independence, White denotes peace and Yellow denotes mineral wealth. The central Black strip represents the African continent. The official emblem of Mozambique is displayed on the red triangle. In the centre of the triangle is a five-pointed star bearing a crossed AK-47 rifle and hoe in black superimposed on an open white book The crossed gun and ploughshare symbol is an influence of the Marxist FRELIMO party.

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    MAKING ART OUT OF WEAPONS

    by DAO Updated Nov 4, 2010

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    A lot of art in Mozambique seems to require weapons. Land mines, machine guns and hand guns all add to the lethal mix. This is rather disturbing when you keep seeing this art in many places. Oddly this unique art style has a positive purpose. When the massive civil war ended here in 1992 there were between 400,000 and 5 MILLION landmines scattered across the country. Add in a million arms from pistols to the ubiquitous AK-47 and you have some real issues with ‘Peace’. In 1995 Bishop Dom Dinis Sengulane came up with the idea of the TAE (Transformaçaõ de Armas en Enxadas) or ‘Transformation of Arms into Plows’ programme. Starting with 14 artists his aim was to try and get these weapons handed in. The original 14 taught others to weld and sculpt killing machines into interesting and unusual shapes and even mundane items like chairs. The idea took off.

    Today the TAE has 10 collection centres and have collected an estimated 700,000 rifles, handguns, grenades, landmines, rockets and machine guns. People bringing in weapons are given useful items to help rebuild like cement and zinc sheets. If the weapon is in full working condition the person bringing it in receives more in return. Working weapons are either destroyed or permanently disarmed and then the creativity begins.

    If you do come across any weaponry on your travels do not even thing of picking it up or carrying it. People still lose arms, legs and their lives here. Don’t join the large numbers of victims.

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    MYSTERY OF THE BRITSH HIGH COMMISSION - MAPUTO

    by DAO Written Jan 13, 2007

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    Ever wonder why some countries have Embassies and some have High Commissions? A High Commission (with the attendant High Commissioner) means that the country is a member of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth was the Former British Commonwealth that was formed by nations that where former British Colonies and Possessions before individual dates of Independence. In addition to being former colonies they have many things in common like the English language and driving on the left-hand side of the road. So why is there a British High Commission in Maputo?

    Because Mozambique became the Commonwealth's 53rd member (and the first not to have once been associated with the British Empire) in November 1995. Mozambique, despite being a Portuguese speaking former colony of Portugal, had long been interested in Commonwealth membership. They had to gain the agreement of all the other members at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in New Zealand in 1995.

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    RONDOVALS

    by DAO Written Jan 11, 2007

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    Rondovals are round houses with thatch roofs. Across Mozambique you will see authentic all-thatch Rondovals. They are small and without walls inside. They remain cool because of the large openings and shade they provide. Properly made thatch can survive even the wettest rains and still stay dry inside.

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    mcel - the popular cell phone provider

    by MarioPortugal Updated Jan 10, 2007

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    mcel is the most popular Cell Phone company in Mozambique.

    Giro is the name for the credit recharges that are easily found in the streets of Maputo, for instance.

    All mcel phone numbers start with 82 and have a 9-digit number.
    Example: 82 xxx xxxx.

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    Drink beer 2M and watch Benfica Vs Sporting alive

    by MarioPortugal Updated Dec 16, 2006

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    Beer 2M is doing a contest among its costumers. Four trips are available to watch in Portugal the Benfica x Sporting football match.

    Both Sport Lisboa e Benfica and Sporting Clube de Portugal are two major football (soccer in the USA) teams from Lisbon, Portugal's capital.

    I'm sure the fact that the Portuguese Football League is close followed by general Mozambican citizens has originated 2M's marketing department to come up with is contest.

    Four 2-person trips are to be given away.

    To participate consumers over 18 years old do only need to gathered 3 bottle tops (one with the word 2M, other whit a airplane, and a third one with a ball), put those 3 bottle tops inside an envelope, fill the form of the envelope, and place it inside the 2M boxes that are available in all on-premise beer point-of-sales. And that's it !!! (Envelopes are providing by the on-premise beer point-of-sale, aka bares & restaurants).

    The bottle tops combination is: 2M + Airplane + Football.

    The contest runs until January 10, 2007. The draw is on January 18, 2007.
    And the Benfica x Sporting match is on April 29, 2007.

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    The Indian Ocean

    by MarioPortugal Updated Dec 8, 2006

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    Mozambique - all of its 2,500 km (approx. 1,550 miles) Sea Coast borders with the Indian Ocean.

    After the Atlantic (nearby my home village) and the Pacific (in 1998), the Indian was the third Ocean that I personally got the privilege to swim in (in 2006).

    ---- from Wikipedia ---
    "The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water in the world, covering about 20% of the Earth's water surface".

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    ROAD SIDE GOODS

    by DAO Updated Aug 31, 2006

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    All along the roads in rural areas you see goods for sell from firewood (pictured) to fruit, carvings, cashew nuts and something that looks like coloured local firewater. Don't worry that you do not see anyone attending the "store". Even slowing down seems to produce at least one person and usually 5-6 inquisitive children. Cashews are roasted and unsalted. They are absolutely delicious. Like any good roadside market, you have to bargain!

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    please eat seafood in Mocambique

    by nora_south_africa Written Jul 2, 2006

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    Dont miss eating seafood, prawns....crayfish in Mocambique... they have the most wonderful seafood, crabs..huge ones, crayfish as long as your arm.... try it!!!! in quieter seaside villages you just buy it from locals on the beach and prepare yourself..or ask around for a restaurant that makes it...but DO NOT MISS IT if you love seafood!!!

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    a nice travelogue about Mocambique

    by cochinjew Written Jun 19, 2003

    At CLARKES bookstore in Long Street in the centre of Cape Town, I found two books...

    one by a mocambican writer, Couto: the verandah of frangipani
    the other book was:
    JUSTIN FOX WITH BOTH HANDS WAVING A JOURNEY THROUGH MOZAMBIQUE...
    I didnt get into it straight away but few days away from Africa and the saudade for mocambique..the book became a soul soother..

    I highly recommend this account of a journey through Mocambique done in the company of some companions...
    He says...
    There is a world the locals use for a backpacker: Pachica.. it refers to those who carry their baggage or bundles on their heads. In the old days it applied to slaves-the dispossessed who were forced to make th elong trek to the coast. Just then it seemed as though the old word had found a perfect match in these coast bound, tourist slaves
    he was talking about a young american couple who were riding their bicycle and carrying large back packs he encountered at Entre Lagos on the border of Mocambique and Malawi...
    they wanted to bicycle to Isla Mocambique.. which is a difficult journey even for a 4x4...

    his comments about AID workers in Mocambique and the new type of missionaries are worth noting..

    he continues:
    I REALIZED TOO THAT I HAD BEEN SLAVE TO THE NOSTALGIC DREAM OF A PRE WAR MOZAMBIQUE PASSED DOWN AS A FAMILY LORE. I HAD BEEN A PACHICA, CARRYING A PACK OF SAUDADES HANDED DOWN THROUGH GRANDPARENTS, PARENTS AND SIBLINGS. ALONG THE WAY I HAD SHED MUCH OF THE BAGGAGE AND FORGED MY OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PLACE, BRED A NEW SET OF EXPERIENCES TO FEED MY PROGENY, OR THOSE WHO CARED TO LISTEN

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    a metaphor for mozambique

    by cochinjew Written Jun 18, 2003

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    the years of internal struggle, after a glorious struggle against the portuguese colonialism, has left the country devastated. everywhere one looks there are signs of destruction and man made disasters.
    it is admirable that mozambicans are so easy going and friendly to foreigners, especially south africans, after such maltreatment.

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    Mascara de beleza

    by trilbi Updated Sep 20, 2002

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    In the province of Cabo Delgado, near Ilha de Mocambique it's very common to see women and little girls with a white paste on their face. The mask, called Musiro or N'siro is made by scraping branches of a bush (Olax distiflora) on a stone and mixing it with water. It is used as a beauty mask to protect the skin from the sun as well as to provoke the attentions of men. The paste is worn until it dries and flakes off.
    Apparently, in days gone by, only virgins or women whose husband's are away were permitted to adorn themselves in this manner.

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    Avoid Anglo-Saxon ideas of...

    by Rui_Nobre Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Avoid Anglo-Saxon ideas of Mocambique.
    As this country has Portuguese/Latin influence citizens coming from English Language countries do not understand Mocambique soul. You do not need to know Portuguese Language, you have to feel them as they really are: friendly and always smiling.

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    CASHEW NUTS in the shell are...

    by kenHuocj Written Aug 26, 2002

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    CASHEW NUTS in the shell are inedible, , but once the kernel is taken out, plain or roasted, the Cashew Nut ranks as one of the tastiest and most useful cullinary nuts. === Whilst Mocambique is a developing country and the processing of the Cashew Nut is labour intensive, for some unknown reason, it is exported for processing elsehwre, taking the value adding profit and work away from the producing country. === somehow the econmic theories got messed up by some bureaucrats ;-)))
    === the shell produces one of the best industrial oils, which is also income lost for Mocambique.

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