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Tanzania Culture and Traditions

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 safari?

  • Countryaah: 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 time.

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 person's name.

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.

Culture and Traditions of TanzaniaTanzanians 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 and friends.

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 pants.

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.

Swahili-time

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).

holidays

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 sacrificial feast).

2010

October

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.

July

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.

April

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.


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