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Zambia Culture and Traditions

Customs and traditions

Strong family ties and respect for the elderly characterize the social relations in Zambia as well as in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. Popular traditions celebrating local festivals are kept alive, especially in the countryside, and encouraged by the authorities. In the cities, an urban lifestyle is shaped by African and Western / global patterns.

Respect for the elderly means, among other things, that the elders in gatherings of all kinds are treated with special attention, and are given, for example, the right to formulate common views.

  • Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Zambia, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.

Weddings are an important event in a family, especially in the countryside. The wedding parties are expensive and can last for several days. Young men and women have the opportunity to find their own partners, but usually the consent of the families is required. The husband (and his family) must pay a dowry to the woman's family, usually in the form of livestock and / or cash.

Burials are also important gatherings, not least in the countryside.

Culture and Traditions of ZambiaMost families have many children. Children are both a way to ensure family survival and a form of pension insurance for parents, a normal occurrence in many countries where social protection networks are weak or non-existent.

Local parties and rituals

The settlements in the villages are mainly of two kinds. Here are the classic African round houses with walls of clay piles and peaked thatched roofs, while other houses are rectangular and made of hand-made bricks. It is common to decorate the houses externally.

Traditional parties and rituals are an important part of cultural life, especially in the countryside. The country's first president after independence, Kenneth Kaunda, encouraged traditions as part of the process of getting rid of the legacy of the white colonizers. Each folk group has its festivities, usually linked to important points of view during the year, such as sowing and harvesting. One of the most well-known annual celebrations is the Ku-belbika of the lozi people. It occurs after the rainy season, when the Zambezi River floods its banks in February – March. The Lozikungen, Litunga, then move in solemn forms to his palace in more upland terrain.

The base food consists of a mash, or porridge, made on corn, nshima. A regular meal consists of a bowl of nshima that is consumed with meat, vegetables and / or fish. However, meat is rare in poor families. In the cities there is a large selection of Western and Asian fast food. In general, a lifestyle that is increasingly different from traditional rural life is developed in the cities. This also applies to popular culture, clothing, languages ​​and attitudes.

Important with titles

The great folk sport is football, mainly of men, to be added. The national team, also known as Chipolopolo (the "Copper Bullets" aimed at the country's most important industry, copper mining), became heroes when Zambia won the African Championships in 2012 after two previous final losses. The final got extra symbolism when it was played in Gabon where another Zambian national team was injured in a plane crash in 1993.

Zambians greet each other by shaking hands, with some local varieties such as quickly repeating the handshake three times (western parts of the country). It is common to give gifts in the introduction to an acquaintance, or at a reunion. Gifts are not declined, as they are seen as a confirmation of friendship or gratitude. When handing over gifts, both hands should be used.

For foreign visitors to Zambia, it is important, as in many other parts of the world, to start a meeting to talk about family, health, the trip there and other things that do not touch on the issues that are the purpose of the meeting. Often, it is the oldest meeting participant who marks when it is time to go into substantive issues. It is important to use titles, as well as to change business cards.

2014

December

Kabimba forms a new party

The dismissed Justice Minister Kabimba is forming a new party, the Rainbow Party.

Continued power struggle within PF

At a party conference, Scott manages to delegate Sampa to PF's presidential candidate, but the Supreme Court rejects the election and declares that Lungu is PF's candidate. The battle escalates when 14 of the government's 17 ministers declare that they voted to dismiss Scott. This dismisses the vote as "illegal". Four days before Christmas, the fighting phalanges agree to jointly stand behind Lungu.

November

Scott is excluded in PF

The power struggle causes PF to temporarily exclude Scott from the party. However, he remains as acting president and is working to get the party to appoint Sata's nephew Miles Sampa as presidential candidate. Another falang stands behind Lungu.

October

Great resistance when Secretary General is allowed to go

A few days after Sata's death, Scott dismisses PF Secretary-General Edgar Lungu, who is also Minister of Justice and Defense. The decision is part of a power struggle within the PF ahead of the impending presidential election in January 2015. Scott is considered to be affiliated with Lungu's rival, former Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba, and the deposition of Lungu is considered an attempt to weaken Kabimba. Scott's decision leads to protests in Lusaka. As protests grow, Scott Lungu reinstates PF as Secretary General. Scott cannot stand in the presidential election himself, as the constitution stipulates that candidates must not have parents born abroad.

Guy Scott takes over as president

During Sata's illness period, Secretary of Defense Edgar Lungu has been acting head of state, but now Vice President Guy Scott is taking over the presidential post until the election can be held in three months. Scott, whose parents were Scots, becomes the first white head of state in southern Africa since the apartheid system was abolished in South Africa in 1994.

President Sata dies in the UK

On October 28, President Sata dies at a hospital in the United Kingdom. The cause of death is not revealed. Sata is remembered for her tough grip on political opponents and government-critical journalists. His outrage against critics gave him the nickname "Kungskobran". As recently as June 2014, three oppositionists were indicted for claiming the president was dying.

President Sata carries out medical supervision

President Sata flies abroad for a "medical check". No further details are given, nor is it known to which country the president is traveling.

Zambia wants to reduce budget deficits

In the budget presented by the government for 2015, some of the fees that foreign mining companies pay to the state are tripled in order to obtain permission to mine minerals. In this way, the government hopes to reduce the budget deficit to less than 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Mining industry revenues account for 70 percent of the country's exports. Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda predicts 7 percent growth for 2014. The budget deficit is due to increased spending on infrastructure projects (roads, bridges, railways) and salaries to public employees.

Jail of former Air Force commander

The country's former Air Force chief is sentenced to five years in prison and hard punishment for corruption. He must have stopped the equivalent of $ 250,000 in his own pocket. The money would have been used for security work before the 2011 elections. Several government officials, including President Banda, have been charged with corruption since Sata became president in 2011.

Banda ready for the presidential post

President Banda signals that he may run for office if there is an election to the presidential post in the event that Sata has to retire due to illness.

September

Sata participates in public meetings after a long silence

In the middle of the month, President Sata shows that he is on his feet when he attends two televised political meetings. Later in the month, however, he sets his speech before the UN General Assembly. The question marks surrounding his health remain.

August

The Minister of Justice is dismissed

President Sata dismisses Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba, who is suspected of having planned to take power from the head of state.

Zambia is closing its borders

Zambia is closing its borders to people coming from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where an Ebola epidemic is raging.

July

Members demand a meeting with Sata

MPs demand to meet President Sata, who has not appeared in public for several weeks.

June

Copper crises cause Zambia's currency to fall

Zambia is turning to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for advice on how to deal with the effects of its falling currency in the wake of falling copper prices.

False rumors about the president's medical condition

Rumors are spreading that President Sata is seriously ill. Three opposition activists are being prosecuted for disseminating false information as they handed out leaflets with the message that Sata is dying.

February

Human rights activist is acquitted

Paul Kasonkomona - a human rights activist who has been charged with arguing for gay rights in a television broadcast - is acquitted by a court of lack of evidence. Homosexuality is prohibited in Zambian law. If Kasonkomona had been convicted, he would have been sentenced to one month in prison.

January

Prosecution is brought against Bwalya

Opposition leader Bwalya is being indicted for slander since in a radio interview he called President Sata "chumbu mushololwa". The term is the Bemba language's designation for a potato variety and it is usually used for people who do not listen to advice. At the trial half a year later, Bwalya is acquitted. The judge finds that he did not commit any crime but only used his freedom of expression.


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