Customs and traditions
Most Tanzanians have a clear national
identity, mainly based on the Swahili language. Many in
the country are proud of the national language, which is
not a colonial heritage, and they appreciate when
foreign visitors try to learn a little Swahili.
Tanzanians greet by shaking hands and asking how the
other is doing: habari yako ? (really
"what's new?"). They also ask how the family and
children are doing and how things are going at work. To
hear about how the trip went is common: habari za
Overview of the capital city of Tanzania, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
In friendships, it is important to take the time to
greet and talk. Anyone who does not care about the
greeting can be perceived as unpleasant. Initial
conversations about the situation can and should take
Respect for the elderly is profound and is felt in
the way of health. People from the same village appeal
to each other as if they belonged to the same family. An
adult woman is called mama (mother), an older
woman bibi (grandmother), a younger woman
dada (sister) and an adult man baba
(father) or mzee (old man).
Tanzanians rarely need to ask which religion the
other belongs to, as it is often revealed in the
One should not show anger or love openly. Eye contact
(not too much between men and women), faces, body
language and tone of voice are important in
conversation. It is accepted to stand close and touch
each other's hands.
Tanzanians are happy to take the time to explain a
context. It is impolite to interrupt a person, even if
he has been talking for a while. Tanzanians do not
normally say no, but prefer to delay or delay the issue.
At the workplace
Age is of great importance in Tanzanian culture. The
social pattern is largely built up in relation to
people's age. In workplaces, an older employee is happy
to be addressed as a mom, while the youngest and new
employees can be called mtoto (children).
Status is important and the hierarchy is often clear.
An employee asks questions and takes orders from the
immediate superior. Passing him directly to a higher
manager can pose problems for the child. Employees can
deliver subtle messages if they are unhappy, but
problems should be addressed between four eyes.
A person is often hired because of family ties or
because a manager feels obligated to help a relative,
friend or neighbor.
A personal relationship is built up before doing
business, the latter being considered secondary.
Character and behavior are crucial. You do business with
someone you see as a friend, whom you trust and respect.
Written contracts are not so important, settlements can
be made for reliable witnesses such as family, relatives
Upholstery and food
In Tanzania's tropical climate, upholstery is light
but clean and clean. Colorful cotton shirts and dresses
are common. In offices, people often wear collar shirts
and skirts, respectively. Boys but not men wear shorts,
and women's clothing covers both knees and shoulders. It
is becoming more common for younger women to wear long
Many do not wear bath towel outdoors, as they are
intended to be used during toilet visits. Among poor
people, however, it is common to walk in bath slippers,
unless one goes barefoot in them.
Ugali is a basic food and national dish. It
is a solid corn porridge, which is usually eaten with
your fingers. You form a ball in your hand, press with
your thumb and then scoop up sauce and vegetable or meat
stew. Often the family sits in a ring on the floor and
eats out of common vessels. You wash before the meal and
always eat with your right hand.
Cassava, sweet potatoes, beans and peanuts are
important in the cuisine of the Tanzanian mainland. In
the coastal areas fish and rice, cooked in coconut milk,
are often preferred. Both on the mainland and on the
coast and on the islands the food is spicy. Bananas,
papaya, mango and pineapple are popular fruits.
Punctuality is unusual and time schedules rarely
last. Tanzanians can joke about Swahili time,
which is six hours after clock time. Swan holidays count
from dawn to dusk instead of midnight to lunch. This
means that seven in the morning is counted as one, and
lunchtime is counted as six.
Tanzanians usually refer to Swahili time when they
speak Swahili and clock time when they speak English.
But misunderstandings can occur in translation, and a
meeting booked at four o'clock may turn out to be in the
morning instead of the afternoon. Therefore, it is
important to clarify whether an agreed time applies to
the morning (asubuhi), the afternoon (mchana)
or the evening (jioni).
Important national holidays are Zanzibar's Revolution
Day, January 12, Union Day April 26, New Year's Day
October 14, and Independence Day December 9. Easter and
Christmas are holidays, as are Muslim holidays such as
the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, id al-fitr
(the end of Ramadan) and id al-adha (Muslim
Success for CCM on Zanzibar
In the local presidential elections in Zanzibar, Ali Mohamed Shein of CCM
wins with 50.1 percent over Seif Sharif Hamad of CUF, who gets 49.1 percent. CCM
also wins the parliamentary election with 28 seats against 22 seats for CUF.
Victory for CCM in parliamentary elections
Elections to the European Parliament are held at the same time as the
presidential election. CCM receives 186 of the 239 elected seats and a total of
259 seats (see Political system). However, the election result represents a
decline for CCM, from 70 percent in the 2005 election to 60 percent of the vote.
Chadema is progressing strongly, from 8 percent to over 23 percent of the vote.
With 48 seats, Chadema becomes the largest opposition party. CUF gets 36 seats.
President Kikwete is re-elected
President Kikwete is re-elected for a new five-year term. He gets over 61
percent of the vote, against 26 percent for Chadma's candidate Willibrod Slaa
and 8 percent for Ibrahim Lipumba from CUF. The turnout is low, 42 percent. Slaa
accuses CCM of electoral fraud, but his request that the votes be reconsidered
is rejected by the Election Commission.
Power sharing on Zanzibar
In a referendum on Zanzibar, two-thirds of the participants say yes to a
constitutional change which means that power is shared between the two largest
parties of the archipelago: CCM and CUF. The two parties will each appoint a
vice-president and form a local coalition government. The amendment comes into
force after the parliamentary elections in October of that year and is intended
to resolve the conflicts that have long paralyzed politics in the realm.
Common market for East Africa
The regional cooperation organization EAC is expanding to the East African
Community Common Market. The aim is to integrate the region's economies and
markets through the free movement of goods, labor, services and capital.
Hundreds of refugees are welcomed by Tanzania
The government decides that 162,000 refugees from Burundi will be granted
Tanzanian citizenship. According to the UNHCR UNHCR, no other country has
offered citizenship to so many foreigners at one time. The decision was
implemented in 2014.