Customs and traditions
In Kenya, the collective is often more
important than the individual. The concept of harambee -
roughly "all together" - is central. It is a tradition
that exists in virtually all ethnic groups and is about
joint work and shared responsibility. Since the birth of
his father, Jomo Kenyatta, harambee has been something
of an official slogan for the country.
By the way, many Kenyans identify more with their
people than with the nation. This is especially true of
people in the countryside who have retained many old
customs. At least this applies to perhaps the largest
group of people, the Kikuyas, who played a prominent
role in the liberation struggle and have continued
political and economic dominance.
Overview of the capital city of Kenya, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Health is important in Kenya. It is important not to
be in a hurry. You address people you do not know well
with title and last name. Jambo is the most
common greeting phrase. Then you are happy to shake
hands and inquire about the opposing party's health and
family. However, a man should not give a woman the hand
but in that case let her take the initiative for a
handshake. Women who know each other well can hug and
kiss each other on one cheek. When shaking hands with an
elderly person, you can hold your right wrist with your
left hand, as a sign of respect. It is important to show
the older reverence.
Kenyans appear friendly and hospitable. You value
restraint and often avoid expressing yourself too
directly. Instead, a Kenyan often takes to a parable or
story to make a point of view. To openly show anger can
be seen as a sign of mental instability.
Those who are invited to a Kenyan home are often
offered food or tea, and it is considered unfair to
refuse. A guest is happy to bring flowers or some sweet.
Gifts may be something simple and practical, but it
should be neatly wrapped. Everything should be handed
with the right hand or both hands, never with the left
Food and clothing
Table habits vary. Normally, it is considered polite
to eat all the food on the plate. At meals, no drinks
are often served, it only comes afterwards. Many Kenyans
consider it inappropriate to eat and drink at the same
Corn porridge, posho or ugali, is
the staple food for many in Kenya. It is often eaten
with mashed beans, potatoes and vegetables, and is then
called irio. Anyone who can afford eats meat.
On festive occasions, the one who is happy to slaughter
a goat or cow. Livestock farmers largely live on dairy
products, while fish are common on the coast and on Lake
Victoria. Banana porridge, matoke, is also
popular. Beer is brewed locally and found everywhere. A
special kind made with honey is called uki.
Otherwise, you are happy to drink tea, generally served
with a lot of milk and sugar.
Western attire is most common, especially in cities.
Many women like to wear a colorful kanga, a large
rectangular piece of cloth that is wrapped around the
body like a skirt or shawl. Headscarves are also common.
Many nomadic people wear many traditional clothing. The
Masais, for example, are known for their characteristic
red hems and large necklaces.
Perhaps the most important national holiday is the
jamhuri day on December 12. Jamhuri means
"republic" in Swahili and the day celebrates both
independence on December 12, 1963 and the proclamation
of the republic a year later. On June 1, Madaraka
Day is celebrated, when inner self-government was
proclaimed in 1963. On October 20, the former Kenyatta
Day was named, in memory of the liberation hero Kenyatta.
Nowadays it is called mashujaa day - mashujaa
means hero and the day is now celebrated memory of all
who died in the struggle for independence.
Other non-religious holidays are New Year's Day on
January 1 and Labor Day on May 1. The religious days
that are national holidays are Good Friday and Sunday
Easter, Christmas Day and Christmas Day, as well as id
al-fitr which ends the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Muslims also celebrate the sacrificial holiday id al-adha
and Hindu light festival diwali (dipavali), but they are
not holidays for the entire population. The Masais
celebrate the beginning of the rainy season with a
multi-day celebration of ritual dances and prayers for
the animals. The kikuys have festivities in connection
with the sowing, including those with ceremonial dances.
Initiation rites are common for both boys and girls.
The transport systems in Kenya are relatively
efficient, even though road maintenance is neglected.
Mombasa has the largest port on the east coast of
Africa, and the airport in Nairobi is an important
Through Mombasa, huge quantities of goods pass to and
from, among others, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and
Congo-Kinshasa. Congestion and delays are major problems
but an extension of the harbor is ongoing. A new major
port is planned in Lamu in the north. The port, which
will be completed by 2030, will become a hub for trade
and traffic in East Africa. From the port, there will be
oil pipelines to South Sudan and rail to Ethiopia and
In recent years, a refurbishment of the road network
has begun, including between Nairobi and Mombasa. A new
multi-lane motorway with car tolls will be ready by
The rail system consists of a main line that extends
from Mombasa via Nairobi into Uganda, and side tracks to
Tanzania, among others. Work is underway to upgrade the
railway from Mombasa to Malaba at the Ugandan border.
The hope is that it will help to increase trade in the
region. The nearly 50-mile-long stretch between Mombasa
and Nairobi, Madaraka Express, was commissioned in May
2017. The new railroad was built by a Chinese company
and the project, which cost nearly $ 4 billion, became
four times as expensive as originally planned, and the
construction has surrounded by accusations of
corruption, poor working conditions for the railroad
builders and insufficient compensation for those who had
to sell their land. The railway construction has been
financed to 85 percent through loans from China.
In addition to regular buses, there is also a private
public taxi, called matatu, within and between cities.
Boat connections are available on Lake Victoria between
Kisumu and Port Bell in Uganda.
From Nairobi there is extensive air traffic to
Europe, Asia, the USA and to other parts of Africa.
Kenya Airways is one of the major airlines in Africa and
has long been one of the few profitable on the
continent. The company has long had extensive freight
traffic with flowers and fruits to Europe. After major
investments in new aircraft that coincided with a sharp
decline in the tourism industry, the company was in
acute crisis in 2015.
In addition to Nairobi, international airports are
also located in Mombasa and Eldoret. In addition, there
are a number of smaller airports for domestic traffic.
Nearly 4 million Kenyans need food assistance
The United Nations Food Program WFP appeals for funding to help 3.8 million
Kenyans with food. Famine threatens due to severe drought and high prices of
Names of suspected offenders are provided to the ICC
UN mediator Kofi Annan announces that he has handed over a sealed envelope to
the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the names of the persons suspected
of organizing the violence after the 2007 elections.