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Tanzania's unique customs

2013-03-25 15:47 CNTV     Web Editor: yaolan comment

Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Tanzania for a state visit. And the country is a land of exotic beauty. Home to lions and crocodiles, but also to a rich tapestry of ethnic cultures with their own colourful traditions and customs.

When you want to get to know a culture, finding out about its is always a good place to start. In Tanzania there are more than 120 tribes, each with their own culinary traditions. Banana figure prominently in many dishes, from banana soup, fried bananas, you name it, they can make it. But it takes more than bananas to make the perfect meal. Here, nothing goes better with bananas than spicy sauce. In the hot damp weather, people crave spicy food. The dishes of China's South-east Sichuan Province would go down very well here.

The Tanzanians are widely known for their lively music and superb sense of rhythm. Some even dare to dance with snakes. Whether you're in the city or the countryside, every child understands, without the need for words, that the clap of the hands is an invitation for them to dance. Forget about disco dancing, this is the real deal.

If you come across "Chiefs" or "Warriors" among these dance masters, don't be surprised. Most Tanzanians have pretty interesting names. Here you'll come across the names "Yesterday" and "Today" and even "President " or "Colonel". It seems there are no rules when it comes to naming a child.

The Tanzanians may be casual about their names, but when it comes to their hair, there's no joking around. If you're a woman and want to get your hair styled, be careful which hair salon you go to. Here in the Masai prairie, any women that enters the hair salon has come to get her head shaved. In fact, here among the Masais, men with long braided hair and women with bald heads are considered the most attractive.

Some customs in Tanzania can be quite unusual, such as the practice of removing the front teeth. Other customs are quite fun. Getting married can be a game of hide-and-seek with the bride hiding in the home of one of her relatives. For some unlucky grooms, it can take months before they finally locate their brides. Custom rituals like this one can last for weeks, and all of them reflect the playful and vibrant nature of Tanzanian culture.

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