Besides the various opportunities for safaris and daytrips, Tanzania also has a beautiful culture to offer. Ajabu Adventures likes to introduce the Tanzanian culture to you.
Tanzania is about 365000mi2, and has about 45 million inhabitants. There are more or less 125 tribes in Tanzania, who live next to one another in peace. A special phenomenon is that all of these tribes are represented in Mto wa Mbu (river of the mosquitoes). The Tanzanian culture was created by a combination of African, Arabic, European and Indian influences.
The best known tribe in Tanzania is the Maasai, which originates from northern Africa. It is a nomadic tribe and they live from milk and blood of their cows and meat of their sheep and goats. Originally the Maasai lives in a boma, which is an area with huts delimited by branches. One family lives in one boma. The cattle is usually held in the middle of the area. The tribes in Tanzania are divided in to several groups, whereof Bantu is the biggest. This group originates from western Africa and created the language Swahili by combining all their languages. The Arabic language has had strong influences on Swahili. A total of more than 100 different languages are spoken by reason of the tribes wanting to keep their own identity and language. However, the official languages of Tanzania are Swahili and English.
Nowadays the ancient African traditions are changed into more modern customs. Parents are encouraged to send their children school. This however is a difficult process for the Maasai, because the children normally watch over their cattle, their biggest possession. Now that the children go to school in daytime they do not have anyone to watch over their cattle.
The family ties of Tanzanians are very strong. They are very friendly people, not only to their friends and family but also to strangers. Politeness, respect and humbleness are considered very important characteristics.
The large part, about half, of the inhabitants of Tanzania are christen. About one third of the Tanzanian people are Muslim. Most of the Muslims are situated in Zanzibar; about 95% is Muslim there. A couple of tribes in Tanzania are only al little or not influenced by religions, especially the Maasai, they have a god called Engai. The most religious area for the Maasai is Ol Doinyo Lengai (mountain of God).
Music and dancing have always been of great importance in the culture of Tanzania. Especially when expressing joy or sorrow, but also when to fight or expel bad spirits or diseases. The musical instruments, which are used differs per tribe.
In general the people of Tanzania eat with their hands. They only use their right hand because they use their left hand when using the toilet. Before and after the meal a servant comes along the table with warm water and soap so guests can clean their hands.
Appropriate behavior, such as showing affection in public is considered to be disrespectful. In Tanzania and especially on Zanzibar it is very appreciated when women are dressed respectfully, since many people are Islamic.