The Most Interesting Botswana Traditions

Occupying a vast part of the semi-arid Kalahari region, Botswana is in incredibly rich country in what concerns biodiversity. Actually, today Botswana is advertised as a premiere wildlife safari in Southern Africa and visiting its huge national parks will give you the opportunity to encounter many of Africa’s amazing animals.
But it would be a pity to visit Botswana and not pay attention to its people and their fascinating culture and traditions. Like many African countries, Botswana is has extremely diverse ethnic structure. But what makes Botswana particularly interesting are its contrasts: during the last few decades, the country’s economy has skyrocketed which means that one can encounter skyscrapers and office buildings along with isolated tribes of bushmen. For today’s post I have selected some of the most interesting Botswana traditions:

Music and dance

by elvertbarnes

Botswana has a strong and diverse music and dance tradition. Unlike in many other African countries, drums occupy a less important role in Botswana folk music, where human voice plays the major role. Segaba, a traditional instrument, and guitars are using as the main accompaniment for human voice. A very popular dance in contemporary Botswana is kwasa kwasa, which many people resemble with rumba.

Religion and Beliefs

Although Christianity is now the dominant religion in Botswana, there are still some interesting religious ceremonies and rites that can be seen in practice across Botswana. People will sometimes conduct traditional ceremonies for chasing away bad spirits, bring rain and prosperity into the village. It is not uncommon in Botswana to have a funeral conducted by several spiritual leaders belonging to different confessions. Also, traditional well-being practices and alternative medicine are mastered by some sort of medicine men.

Politeness

by elversbarnes

People in Botswana are very polite. The respect for the elders plays an important role in Botswana so it’s advisable to address elder man with Rra (father) and elder women with Mma (mother). People make great use of sign language, so a smile might value more than the words ‘thank you’.

Marriage and gender relations

Matriarchate and patriarchate co-exist in Botswana. While men are traditionally seen as the head of the family, many women choose not to have a formal marriage which means that they become responsible for their children and households. In some of the more traditional societies, negotiations between families still precede the marriage ceremony.

Life of the Bushmen

by david barrie

There are several thousand bushmen tribes who still inhabit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botwswana. These bushmen have very simple life style, they hunt and gather fruit for living and live in small groups. The art of conversation, storytelling and dancing is very appreciated by bushmen, who dedicate a lot of time to socializing and leisure activities. But recent changes in government policy is forcing bushmen to adopt a more stable way of living (like becoming farmers).

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