People, Culture and Religion Guide – Tanzania
Tanzania is one of the top tourist destinations in Africa, not just East Africa. This is because nature has been very kind to this country. You get to see the Big 5 in this country. The tallest free-standing mountain in the world is in this country. One of the wonders of nature, “The Great Migration” occurs here, every year. Plus, the country is blessed with the Zanzibar archipelago with its many islands and white sandy beaches where tourists frolic in the sun and sand. Yearly a lot of tourists head to Tanzania to either go on a safari, or to climb the tallest mountain in Africa or to enjoy the beaches of Zanzibar.
With over 120 ethnic groups in Tanzania, you would least expect to get the same culture, religion, and practices across her mainland. Among this diverse mix, you have people from across Africa, Persia, Arabia, India, Chinese, and the renowned Swahili..
A vital part of the Tanzanian social etiquette is ‘Handshakes’. They don’t just fancy handshakes, they like to keep holding on to the right hand and prolong it throughout the duration of a conversation. A Tanzanian sees a prolonged handshake as a sign of friendship and amity.
Just think about your left hand as dead when in Tanzania.
It’ll interest you to know as much as Tanzanians fancy public affection, hugging and holding hands with the opposite sex is a taboo. Reserve it for your privacy. However, holding hands is not offensive when you’re of the same sex. It signifies friendship.
The dressing is normal in Tanzania. The coasts are more conservative because of its Muslim influence, and you’ll need to contain yourself around there.
Tanzanians recognize two major languages as official, and that’s English and Swahili. The Swahili is same as Kiswahili. Having a good time around Tanzanians demand you have simple phrases handy.
When you meet an elder, ‘Shikamo’ is the simplest greeting you can utter. It literally means “I hold your feet.” If you’re greeted, the simplest reply is ‘Marahaba’. As little as it sounds, it means a lot; “I’m pleased, I don’t get that every day.”
A substantial feature predominant in Africa is their value for religion and its crucial impact in every other aspect of their lives. Every national in Tanzania knows of the vital role of religion in their services and no religious activity is trivial.
Surveys and statistics released on religion shows that the predominant population of the mainland are Christians—precisely 40-50%. About 35% are Muslims, with a greater fraction scattered across the coast and Zanzibar, and other islands. The Tanzanian Islamism is mostly of the Sunni faith. Roughly 5% of the population either follow Hinduism or Sikhism or are unaffiliated.
It’ll interest you to see how significant the Christian Sunday Services and Muslim Friday prayers can be.
There’s a lot about Tanzania and to learn more about the country you need to spend some time there.