Swahili Culture is a mix of various traditions, religions, local beliefs and commercial contacts. Food, dress and language are all similar along the coast and in the islands. The women wear colourful kangas with proverbs printed on them. In this way, she can subtly let her husband know what she thinks, or give him a public chastising.
With large communities of both Muslims and Christians, it’s not uncommon for towns to have a mosque and a church. And festivals/holidays of both religions are given equal recognition.
From a young age, Tanzanian children are taught how to be polite and respectful. They will normally greet their elders with the phrase shikamoo, which literally translates as ‘I hold your feet’.
Due to the sense of brotherhood fostered by Julius Nyerere, adults will frequently address strangers as dada (sister) or kaka (brother), or alternatively as ndugu (comrade or relative). Serious friction between people of different groups or religions is rare.
A total of 128 languages are spoken in Tanzania, most of them from the Bantu family. Swahili and English are the two official languages; however, Swahili is the national language of Tanzania.
Tanzania’s literary culture is primarily oral. Major oral literary forms include folktales, poems, riddles, proverbs, and songs. The majority of the oral literature in Tanzania that has been recorded is in Swahili, though each of the country’s languages has its own oral tradition. The country’s oral literature is currently declining because of changes in family structure that make transmission of oral literature more difficult and because of the devaluation of oral literature that has accompanied Tanzania’s development. Tanzania’s written literary tradition is still relatively undeveloped; Tanzania does not have a strong reading culture, and books are often expensive and hard to come by. Most Tanzanian literature is in Swahili or English. Major figures in Tanzanian written literature include Shaaban Robert, Muhammed Said Abdulla, Abdulrazak Gurnah, and Penina Mlama.
The music of Tanzania includes traditional African music, string-based taarab, and a distinctive hiphop known as bongo flava. Nowdays. there are many Tanzanian bongo flava artist like Diamond Platnum, Ommy Dimpos, Lina, Mwsiti, Shelta, Ali Kiba,Izo Bussiness, Barnaba,Banana, Young D, Young Kiler, Vanesa Mdee,Shaa, Mr.Blue, Recho and others.Also there are taarab singers like.Abasi Mzee,Mzee Yusuph,Isha Mashauzi,Hadija Kopa and others. Culture Musical Club, Shakila of Black Star Musical Group Internationally known traditional artists are Bi Kidude, Hukwe Zawose and Tatu Nane. Tanzania also has its own distinct African rumba music, termed muziki wa dansi (“dance music”); important artists include Simba Wanyika, Remmy Ongala, and Orchestra MaK there are many Tanzanian bongo flava artist like Diamond Platnum, Omy Dimpos, Lina, Mwasiti, Shelta, Ali Kiba,Izo Bussiness, Barnaba,Banana, Young D, Young Kiler, Vanesa Mdee, Shaa, Mr. Blue, Recho and others.
The Tanzanian national anthem is Mungu Ibariki Afrika (God Bless Africa), composed by South Africa’S composer Enoch Sontonga. The song is also the national anthem of South Africa (with another tune), Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Tingatinga are popular Tanzanian paintings, painted with enamel paints on canvas. Usually the motifs are animals and flowers in colourful and repetitive design. The style was started by Mr. Edward Saidi Tingatinga born in South Tanzania, Later he moved to Dar es salaam. Since his death in 1972, the Tingatinga style expanded both in Tanzania and worldwide. One of the most famous African artists were born in Tanzania, such as George Lilanga. Other recognized Tanzanian abstract artists are David Mzuguno, Haji Chilonga, Salum Kambi, Max Kamundi, Thobias Minzi, Robino Ntila, John Kilaka, Godfrey Semwaiko, Evarist Chikawe, and many others.
Tanzania’s cartoons have a history that can be traced back to the work of pioneering artists, such as Christian Gregory with his Chakubanga cartoons in Uhuru newspaper in the 1970s and 1980s, and Philip Ndunguru in the early 1980s. Outspokenly political cartoons are of more recent date.
In the past decade, the art of caryoons and comics has really taken off in Tanzania. At present there are dozens of cartoonists, some of whom are well known throughout the country. From the 1960s so on, a number of artists prepared the way, and their names are cited by today’s artists as essential influences, some of the known cartoonists in Tanzania are Ally Masoud ‘kipanya’, Sammi Mwamkinga, Nathan Mpangala ‘Kijasti’, King kinya, Adam Lutta, Fred Halla, James Gayo, Robert Mwampembwa, Francis Bonda, Popa Matumula, Noah Yongolo, Oscar Makoye, Fadhili Mohamed, and many others.
Historically, there have been limited opportunities for formal art training in Tanzania, and many aspiring Tanzanian artists have left the country. Nonetheless, two Tanzanian art styles have achieved international recognition. The Tingatinga school of painting, founded by Edward Said Tingatinga, consists of brightly colored enamel paintings on canvas, generally depicting people, animals, or daily life. After Tingatinga’s death in 1972, other artists adopted his style; the genre is now the most important tourist-oriented style in East Africa. Makonde is both a tribe in Tanzania (and Mozambique) and a modern sculpture style. It is known for the high Ujamaas (Trees of Life) made of the hard and dark ebony tree. Tanzania is also a birthplace of one of the most famous African artists – George Lilanga. George Lilanga who died in 2005, was one of Tanzania’s most famous sculptures. People in Tanzania often sculpt images of people and animals, usually out of clay or a metal.
Football (soccer) is very popular throughout the country, with fans divided between two major clubs, Young Africans F.C. (Yanga) and Simba S.C. Other popular sports include netball, boxing, running, and rugby. Tanzania competes in the Commonwealth Games as well as in the African Championships in Athletics.
Tanzanian cuisine is both unique and widely varied. Along the coastal regions (Dar es salaam, Tanga,Bagamoyo,Zanzibar and Pemba), spicy foods are common, and there is also much use of coconut milk. Regions in Tanzania’s mainland also have their own unique foods. Some typical mainland Tanzanian foods includerice (wali), ugali(maize porridge),chapati(a kind of bread), nyama choma (grilled meat), mshikaki(marinated beef), fish, pilau, biryani and ndizi-nyama,(plantains with meat). Commonly used vegetables include bamia (okra), mchicha (a kind of spinach), njegere (green peas), maharage [beans] and cassava leaves. Famous Snacks: maandaz [dogh]kishet, kashata, kebab(kabaab), samosa[sambusa]mkate wa kumimina (Zanzibar rice bread), vileja, vitumbua (rice patties), bagia, and many others.
Since a large proportion of Khoja Indians had migrated into Tanzania, a considerable proportion of Tanzanian cuisine has been influenced by Indian cuisine Famous chefs such as Mohsin Asharia have revolutionized dishes such as kashata korma tabsi and voodo aloo. Many Khoja Indians own restaurants in the heart of Dar es salaam, and have been welcomed by indigenous Tanzanian
One of Tanzania’s, and other parts of eastern Africa’s, most common cultural dishes is Ugali. It is usually composed of corn and is similar in consistency to a stiff paste or porridge, giving it its second name of corn meal porridge. Mixtures of cassava and millet flours are locally used for ugali. Rice and cooked green bananas are also important staples. Beef, goat meat, beans, yoghurt and a wide range of fish and green leafy vegetables all add nutrients to the dishes.
Many people drink tea in Tanzania. Usually tea is drunk in the morning, during breakfast with chapati and maandazi, and at times at night during supper.coffee is second, and is usually taken in the evening, when the sun is down, and people are on the front porch, playing cards or bao. Many people drink coffee with kashata (a very sweet tasting snack made from coconut meat or groundnuts). There are also local beverages depending on the different tribes and regions.
Local Brews: for coastal regions, such as Tanga and Dar es Salaam, mnazi or tembo is widely consumed. Other brews include wanzuki and mbege among the Chagga, and lubisi, nkencha, nkonyagi, and mbandule among the Haya found on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Besides the richness it has of natural resources like wildlife, water bodies like the ocean, lakes & rivers and minerals, Tanzania is well endowed with abundant significant cultural and natural heritages which include archaeological, palaeontogical and historical resources ranging from the Pliocene period about four million years ago to the present time.
Tanzania like other countries in the world is legally protecting its cultural heritage. The legal protection of the country’s tangible cultural heritage is effected through the Antiquities Act of 1964 (Act No. 10 of 1964 Ca.550) that is principal legislation and the Antiquities (Amendment) Act, 1979 (Act No. 22 of 1979)under the Ministry of Natural Resouces and Tourism. Get information of the cultural and nature heritages types and their legislation.
Cultural Heritage Legislation
Tanzania, like other countries in the world, is legally protecting cultural heritage. The legal protection of the country’s tangible cultural heritage is affected through the Antiquities Act of 1964 (Act No. 10 of 1964 Cap.550) that is principal legislation and the Antiquities (Amendment) Act, 1979 (Act No. 22 of 1979).
The 1964 Act repealed the Monuments Preservation Ordinance of 1937 and 1949 and enlarged the scope of the heritage, which needed to be conserved. The legislation offers general protection to objects or structures, which are of archaeological, palaeontological, historical, architectural, artistic, ethnological or scientific interest. This section highlights some of the aspects of cultural heritage protected by various legislations.
This includes any building, fortification, interment, midden, dam, any rock painting or immovable object painted, sculptured, carved, incised or modified and any earthwork, trench, adit, well, tunnel or other modification of soil or rock dug or made by human agency in Tanganyika before the year 1863. Such objects and structures are automatically protected under the Law. The protection of objects and structures of a particular type made by human in the country is by declaration order of the Minister responsible for Antiquities.
This includes any ethnographical object or any wooden door or door frame carved in Tanganyika in any African or oriental style before the year 1940 and includes any object declared to be a protected object by the minister responsible for the Antiquities Department.
This includes any movable object made shaped, painted, inscribed or otherwise produced or modified by human agency in Tanganyika before the year 1863.