Culture of South Africa

Facts About South Africa

The culture of South Africa is about as diverse as it gets. So, it's important to get your facts about South Africa straight before you travel there. There are several aspects to keep in mind about this multiracial and interesting part of the world. South Africa is a place both enchanting as it is mysterious. Its culture is a blend of ancient customs with modern trends. Television and Internet have only recently become allowed and have played an important role in changing the way many South Africans think.

Culture of South Africa: Cuisine

When looking for some facts about South Africa, a good place to learn is at the marketplace. Markets offer visitors a taste of South African cuisine, which is as varied as its population. You will find everything from barbecued meat to pearl millet, a traditional African meal. Porridge is also a typical South African breakfast. There are also tastes from India and the South African Portuguese community. This makes for plenty of spicy dishes and meals that are made with lots of curry and spices. Also, vegetarianism has recently become popular. Desserts have a strong European influence, especially from the Dutch and Jewish populations.

Culture of South Africa: Languages

Facts about South Africa to also be aware of is that there are many different languages spoken. In fact, there are nine official Bantu languages, including Nguni, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi. Almost everyone living in South Africa speaks one of these languages as well as English or Afrikaans. Afrikaans is the language of white South Africans, while English is spoken by the European population that still resides in South Africa.

Culture of South Africa: Customs

Although South Africa has become more open to foreign cultures in some aspects, the facts about South Africa and its customs have not changed much. Cows are still considered a sign of wealth and are very sacred to the majority of South Africans. Most of the population believes in a masculine deity as well as in supernatural forces that govern destiny. A dowry is still paid when a woman is offered in marriage and there are still plenty of arranged weddings. The masculine figure is still the one of leadership and women are not encouraged to study.

A trip to South Africa is certainly a chance to see an interesting blend of cultures, customs and traditions.

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