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It used to be the language of urban youth designed to keep parents out of their conversations. It has since become the unofficial national language. It is a highly dynamic language, and so generations can be differentiated with the use or misuse of certain words. While we are at it, Kenyans are also fond of misusing vocabularies learned through the media. Kenyans have a reputation of being hospitable. This runs to the core of the social structure.

Many Indians later became merchants and storeowners. During colonial times, they occupied a racial netherland: they were treated poorly by the British although not as poorly as blacksand resented by the Africans. Even after independence, this resentment continued and half of the Indian population left the country. About 70 percent of the population is rural, although this percentage has been decreasing as more Kenyans migrate to the cities in search of work. Most of those who live in urban areas live in either Nairobi or Mombasa.

Nairobi was founded at the beginning of the twentieth century as a stop on the East African Railway and its population is growing rapidly. Nairobi is a modern city with a diverse, international population and a busy, fast-paced lifestyle. The city is in close proximity to Nairobi National Park, a forty-four square mile preserve inhabited by wild animals such as giraffes and leopards. Around the perimeter of the city, shantytowns of makeshift houses have sprung up as the population has increased, and the shortage of adequate housing is a major problem in urban areas.

Mombasa is the second-largest city; located on the southern coast, it is the country's main port. Its history dates back to the first Arab settlers, and Mombasa is still home to a large Muslim population. Fort Jesus, located in the old part of the city, dates to the Portuguese settlement of the area inand today houses a museum.

Kisumu, on Lake Victoria, is the third-largest city and is also an important port. In the cities, most people live in modern apartment buildings.

In the countryside, typical housing styles vary from tribe to tribe. Zaramo houses are made of grass and rectangular in shape; rundi houses are beehive-like constructions of reed and bark; chagga houses are made from sticks; and nyamwezi are round huts with thatched roofs.

Some rural people have adapted their houses to modern building materials, using bricks or cement blocks and corrugated iron or tin for roofs. Food in Daily Life. Corn or maize is the staple food of Kenyans.

It is ground into flour and prepared as a porridge called posho, which is sometimes mixed with mashed beans, potatoes, and vegetables, to make a dish called irio. Another popular meal is a beef stew called ugali. This is eaten from a big pot, and each diner takes a piece of ugali, which he or she uses as a spoon to pick up beans and other vegetables.

Boiled greens, called mboga, are a common side dish.

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Banana porridge, called matoke, is another common dish. Meat is expensive, and is rarely eaten. Herders depend on milk as their primary food, and fish is popular on the coast and around Lake Victoria. Mombasa is known for its Indian foods brought by the numerous immigrants from the subcontinent, including curries, samosas, and chapatti, a fried bread.

Snacks include corn on the cob, mandazi fried doughpotato chips, and peanuts. Tea mixed with milk and sugar is a common drink. Palm wine is another popular libation, especially in Mombasa. Beer is ubiquitous, most of it produced locally by the Kenyan Breweries. One special type of brew, made with honey, is called uki. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. For special occasions, it is customary to kill and roast a goat.

Other meats, including sheep and cow, are also served at celebrations. The special dish is called nyama choma, which translates as "burnt meat. Basic Economy.


Kenya's economy has suffered from inefficiency and government corruption. The tourist industry has also been harmed by political violence in the late s. Seventy-five to 80 percent of the workforce is in agriculture. Most of these A young Samburu woman wearing traditional ornamentation.

The main cash crops are tea and coffee, which are grown on large plantations. The international market for these products tends to fluctuate widely from year to year, contributing to Kenya's economic instability. Many Kenyans work in what is called the jua kali sector, doing day labor in such fields as mechanics, small crafts, and construction.

Others are employed in industry, services, and government, but the country has an extremely high unemployment rate, estimated at 50 percent. Land Tenure and Property. During colonial rule, Kenyan farmers who worked the British plantations were forced to cultivate the least productive lands for their own subsistence.

After independence, many of the large colonial land holdings were divided among Kenyans into small farms known as shambas. The government continues to control a large part of the economy, although in the late s it began selling off many state farms to private owners and corporations. Commercial Activities. The main goods produced for sale are agricultural products such as corn, sweet potatoes, bananas, and citrus fruit.

These are sold in small local markets, as well as in larger markets in the cities, alongside other commercial goods and handicrafts. Bargaining is an expected, and at times lengthy, process in financial interactions. Major Industries. The main industries are the small-scale production of consumer goods, such as plastic, furniture, and textiles; food processing; oil refining; and cement.

Tourism is also important to Kenya's economy, due mainly to game reserves and resorts along the coast, but the industry has been hurt by recent political instability. The primary imports are machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, iron, and steel. Kenya exports tea, coffee, horticultural products, and petroleum products to Uganda, the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Egypt, and Germany. Division of Labor. Kikuyu are the best represented ethnic group in jobs of the highest status, followed by the Luo.

Members of these two groups hold most of the highest positions in government, business, and education. Many Luo are fishermen and boat-builders; those who have moved to the cities often take up work as mechanics and craftsmen, and dominate Kenyan trade unions. A number of Maasai and Samburu have taken jobs as park rangers and safari guides.

Along the coast, most merchants and storekeepers are of Indian or Arab descent. In farming communities, work is divided among people of all different ages; children begin helping at a very young age, and the elderly continue to work as long as they are physically able. Classes and Castes. There is a great deal of poverty in Kenya. Most of the wealthiest people are Kikuyu, followed by the Luo. Kenyans of higher economic and social class tend to have assimilated more Western culture than those of the lower classes.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Among herders such as the Masai, wealth is measured in the number of cattle one owns.

5 Inspiring Traditions Unique to Kenya

Having many children is also a sign of wealth. In urban areas, most people dress in Western-style clothing. While western clothing does not necessarily indicate high status, expensive brand-name clothing does. Many women wear a colorful kanga, a large piece of cloth that can be wrapped around the body as a skirt or shawl and head scarves are also common.

Some ethnic groups, such as the Kikuyu and the Luo, have adopted Western culture more readily than others, who prefer to retain their distinctive styles of dress and ornamentation. Women of the northern nomadic tribes, for example, wear gorfa, a sheepskin or goatskin dyed red or black and wrapped around the body, held in place with a leather cord and a rope belt.

Among some ethnic groups, such as the Rendille, a woman's hairstyle indicates her marital status and whether or not she has children. A man's stage of life is revealed by specific headdresses or jewelry.

The Pokot and Maasai wear rows of beaded necklaces, as do the Turkana women, who wear so many strands that it elongates their necks. The above practices are indicators of marital and social standings within Kenyan society. Kenya is divided into seven provinces and one area. The president is both chief of state and head of the government. He is chosen from among the members of the National Assembly, and is elected by popular vote for a five-year term.

The president appoints both a vice-president and a cabinet. The legislature is the unicameral National Assembly, or Bunge.

It consists of members, twelve appointed by the president and the rest elected by popular vote. Leadership and Political Officials. Social Problems and Control. Crime mostly petty crime and drug use are rampant in the cities.

Kenya has a common law system similar to that of Britain. There are also systems of tribal law and Islamic law, used to settle personal disputes within an ethnic group or between two Muslims. Citizens are not granted free legal aid except in capital cases, and as a result many poor Kenyans are jailed simply for lack of a legal defense. Kenya has a spotty record in the area of human rights, and does not allow independent monitoring of its prison system.

Nairobi, Kenya, is a thriving urban center. Military Activity. Kenya's military includes an army, navy, air force, and the paramilitary General Service Unit of the Police, which has been used to put down civilian rebellions and protests. The country's military expenditures total 2 percent of the gross domestic product GDP.

Serving in the military is voluntary. Most social welfare is provided by the family rather than the government.

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There are government-run hospitals and health clinics, as well as adult literacy programs. There are a number of international organizations that work in Kenya to provide humanitarian aid and to help with the state of the economy and health care.

Division of Labor by Gender. Among herders, men are responsible for the care of the animals. In agricultural communities, both men and women work in the fields but it is estimated that women do up to 80 percent of the work in rural areas: in addition to work in the fields, they take care of the children, cook, keep a vegetable garden, and fetch water and are also responsible for taking food to market to sell. It is common for men to leave their rural communities and move to the city in search of paying jobs.

While this sometimes brings more income to the family, it also increases the women's workload. In urban areas women are more likely to take jobs outside the home; in fact, 40 percent of the urban work force is female.

For the most part, women are still confined to lower-paying and lower status jobs such as food service or secretarial work, but the city of Kisumu has elected a woman mayor, and there are several women in Parliament. The Relative Status of Men and Women. For the most part, women are treated as second-class citizens in Kenya. Despite the disproportionate amount of work that women do, men usually control the money and property in a family.

Wife beating is common, and women have little legal recourse. Another women's issue is clitoridectomy, or female genital mutilation, which leaves many women in continual pain and vulnerable to infection. As women gain access to education, their status in society is increasing. Women's groups such as the National Women's Council of Kenya have been instrumental in pushing for just laws and in teaching women skills that allow them to earn a living. Polygamy is traditional, and in the past it was not uncommon for men to have five or six wives.

The practice is becoming less typical today as it has been opposed by Christian missionaries, and is increasingly impractical as few men can afford to support multiple partners. When a man chooses a potential wife, he negotiates a bride price of money or cattle with the woman's father. The price is generally higher for a first wife than for subsequent ones. The wedding ceremony and feast are celebrated in the husband's home.

Domestic Unit. In the traditional living arrangement, a man builds a separate hut for each of his wives, where she will live with her children, and a hut for himself. In a family with one wife, the parents often live together with girls and younger boys, while the older boys have smaller houses close by.

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It is common for several generations to live together under the same roof. According to tradition, it is the responsibility of the youngest son to care for his aging parents. Among the Maasai, houses are divided into four sections: one section for the women, one section for the children, one section for the husband, and one section for cooking and eating. According to the tradition, inheritance passes from father to son.

This is still the case today, and there are legal as well as cultural obstacles to women inheriting property. Kin Groups. Extended families are considered a single unit; children are often equally close to cousins and siblings, and aunts and uncles are thought of as fathers and mothers. These large family groups often live together in small settlements. Among the Maasai, for example, ten or twelve huts are built in a circle surrounded by a thornbush fence. This is known as a kraal.

Infant Care. Mothers usually tie their babies to their backs with a cloth sling. Girls begin caring for younger siblings at a very early age, and it is not uncommon to see a five- or six-year-old girl caring for a baby.

The vibrant Kenya Culture is a blend of diverse ethnic subcultures. It's influenced by ancient Africa customs and traditions, with modern beliefs and values making it uniquely Kenyan. Some Kenyan ethnic communities have held on to their early African cultural practices while others have since drifted to modern practices. Using Find Skype Sex you can arrange skype shows at a much more favorable price where the performer can make a lot more Dating Kenyan Culture And Traditions money working Dating Kenyan Culture And Traditions for themselves than working Dating Kenyan Culture And Traditions for some other website that takes a large cut of the earnings/ 1. Kenyan Women are Among the Most Beautiful Women in Africa. As a man who is into dark-skinned women, you'll fall in love with the beauty of Kenyan women. There's a reason why these beauties are so popular among Western men. And there is a reason why they are the only African women who got their own dating site from the Cupid Media group.

Child Rearing and Education. Child rearing is communal: responsibility for the children is shared among aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other members of the community. Boys and girls have fairly separate upbringings.

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Each is taught the duties and obligations specific to their sex: girls learn early how to carry water, cook, and care for children, while boys are schooled in the ways of herding or working in the fields.

Children are also grouped into "age sets" with peers born in the same year. Members of a given age set form a special bond, and undergo initiation rituals as a group. Primary school, which children attend from the age of seven to the age of fourteen, is free. Secondary school for students ages fourteen to eighteen is prohibitively expensive for most of the population.

Only half of all children complete the first seven years of schooling, and only one-seventh of these Farms in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. In the s, the government began selling state farms to private enterprises. After each of the two levels, there is a series of national exams which students must pass in order to continue in their studies.

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Kenya's education system has been plagued with widespread accusations of cheating, and there is a shortage of qualified teachers to educate the burgeoning population of school-age children. In addition to government-run schools, churches and civic groups have established self-help or harambee schools, with the help of volunteers from the United States and Europe. These schools now outnumber government-run secondary schools.

Higher Education.

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There are eight universities in Kenya. The largest of these is the University of Nairobi, the Kenyatta University College is also located in the capital. In addition to universities, Kenya has several technical institutes which train students in agriculture, teaching, and other professions. Those who can afford it often send their children abroad for post-secondary education. Kenyans are generally friendly and hospitable.

Greetings are an important social interaction, and often include inquiries about health and family members. Visitors to a home are usually offered food or tea, and it is considered impolite to decline. Elderly people are treated with a great deal of respect and deference. Religious Beliefs. The population is 38 percent Protestant and 28 percent Roman Catholic.

Kenyan events are not RSVP'd in most cases - RSVP is a very recent and acquired habit by the middle class. Birthdays, graduations, weddings and funerals are social gatherings. The more the merrier. Food is prepared in plentiful amounts. The celebrations usually continue in a nearby drinking den or a party house 'til the break of Jackline Wambugi. Kenyan wedding traditions. Kenya has many different wedding traditions - and they vary between tribes. And traditional weddings are often followed by a religious one. I am dating this chick who is from a different we love each other but I am concerned about whether this relationship will go further than dating since she is from a. The traditional Gusii wedding. was taboo and following the cultural wedding traditions was encouraged. a Kenyan's woeful tale The man who loved Keroche heiress E -Paper Previous Next.

Twenty-six percent are animist, 7 percent are Muslim, and 1 percent follow other religions. Many people incorporate traditional beliefs into their practice of Christianity, causing some tension between Kenyans and Christian churches, particularly on the issue of polygamy.

Religious practices of different ethnic groups vary, but one common element is the belief in a spirit world inhabited by the souls of ancestors. The Kikuyu and several other groups worship the god Ngai, who is said to live on top of Mount Kenya.

Religious Practitioners. In traditional religions, diviners are believed to have the power to communicate with the spirit world, and they use their powers to cure people of diseases or evil spirits. Diviners are also called upon to help bring rain during times of drought. Sorcerers and witches are also believed to have supernatural powers, but unlike the diviners they use these powers to cause harm.

It is the job of the diviners to counter their evil workings. Rituals and Holy Places. Among the Masai, the beginning of the rainy season is observed with a celebration which lasts for several days and includes singing, dancing, eating, and praying for the health of their animals.

The multifaceted culture of Kenya is expressed in different forms, ranging from its people and language, food, music and dance, art, artifacts, theatre and literature to its ethnic values and ethical norms. Combined with other traditions, these forms of expression . Feb 10,   Below are some reasons why the dating scene is pathetic or totally non-existent in Kenya. CULTURE-LESS: The lack of a dating culture in Kenya is somehow to blame how people date. Lacking a common practice that defines dating makes the scenario easy to predation and infusion of un-orthodox tactics to suit what people think dating is. Mar 20,   Kenya Culture - Overview. While Kenya offers a magical destination in terms of wildlife and landscape, no visitor to Kenya leaves untouchzed by its people and their vibrant and varied culture. The Kenyan culture has grown over the course of a long history, starting in fact from the known beginning of human time in 'the cradle of humanity', where the earliest known human remains being.

For the ritual dances, the performers die their hair red, paint black stripes on their bodies, and don ostrich-feather headdresses. The Kikuyu mark the start of the planting season with their own festivities. Their ceremonial dances are often performed by warriors wearing leopard or zebra skin robes and carrying spears and shields.

The dancers dye their bodies blue, and paint them in white patterns. Initiation ceremonies are important rites of passage, and they vary from tribe to tribe.

Boys and girls undergo separate rituals, after which they are considered of marriageable age. Kikuyu boys, for example, are initiated at the age of eighteen. Nyamachoma or nyamchomas the locals like to call it, is typically prepared in times of celebration and merry.

The highest point, at 17, feet (5, meters), is Mount Kenya. Kenya shares Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the main source of the Nile River, with Tanzania and Uganda. Another significant feature of Kenyan geography is the Great Rift Valley, the .

The most fascinating thing about nyamachoma is not the irresistible taste but the bond that it creates between friends. Walk into two Kenyans enjoying this meal and you will be drawn in by the positive vibe.

Ugalia Kenyan staple food, is usually the main accompaniment for nyamchom, with a side of cooked green vegetables. The Kenyan diet also includes tea. In fact, in Kenya, anytime is tea time. When it comes to drinks, Kenya tea in the form of Chai tea with milk and sugar is the beverage of choice.

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It is served for breakfast, at mealtimes and also during Kenya's regular teatime. Clearly, Kenya culture embraces many different cultural influences: teatime is a custom borrowed from the British colonial past and the Chai style of cooking tea originated in India. Another popular social drink, and one that also makes a good accompaniment for nyama choma, is Kenya's signature-brand beer - Tusker. Another fascinating ct of Kenyan culture is the art and artifacts that Kenya's different ethnic groups craft manually, using readily available local materials.

Beautifully carved wood sculptures showing exquisite detail and craftsmanship are produced in large quantities and sold to tourists both locally and abroad. Other popular Kenya artifacts include colorful hand-woven sisal baskets, Maasai beaded jewelry, gold and silver jewelry, musical instruments, soapstone sculptures, tribal masks, figurines, paintings, prints, batik cloth, kangas and the beautiful traditional Kikoys African sarongs.

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If you are looking for songs that dig deep into African culture you can go for Kikuyu mugithi hits, Luhya ohangla music and more traditional beats that are backed by drums and guitar instruments.

Almost all ethnic tribes also have their own variety of music and dance. Other Kenyan styles of music that are known to fill the airwaves include the contemporary lingala and benga rhythms.

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These night outs are exclusively designed to capture the culture, music and dance of specific ethnic communities in Kenya. Today there are around 42 different tribes in Kenyawith varying cultural identities and traditions that have, in some cases, become intertwined over time due to similarities in language and a sharing of the same environment.

Visitors to Kenya have the unique opportunity to spend days in the homes of various tribal villages, learning and participating in their daily lives, and even in some cases attending ceremonies. While in the past the development of national parks, in some cases, caused displacement of tribes from traditional grazing areas, today many are employed in the management of conservancies or rangers to protect the wildlife they once kept their cattle safe from.

Kenya is home to 42 ethnic groups, each with a unique culture although many have practices and languages that are similar. Kenyan culture is, therefore, a melting pot of thoughts, practices and customs from various communities. The Kenyan culture is born of countless sources. This region has been crossed by the paths of a long and complex history.

People and Language

From the prehistoric records of early man to the present day, Kenya has been a land of unending change, contrasts and diversity.

The early tribal states saw c ycles of migration and shifting power, with Kenya as a meeting place for peoples from the plain lands of the south, the forests of the West and the deserts of the North. The sea brought influences from the outside world, and the passage of the spice trade created the unique Kenya coastal culture, where lines between Africa and Arabia blurred. The open coast brought European influences into this world of change and began a turbulent struggle for control whose exotic history lingers today.

The first explorers discovered a land of great peril and greater beauty, and their great adventures created the most unique colony in the British Empire. This was a meeting place of cultures, where adventurers and soldiers of fortune mingled with a complex tribal society, and the arrival of labourers and merchants from India brought new and pervasive influences.

The colonial legacy lives on in the traditions of the great Kenya safariand the pursuit of adventure and freedom. Kenya has drawn on all of these influences to develop its own unique culture. This is the nations greatest strength- the ability to blend the best of many worlds into a strong, singular identity. Today, Kenya welcomes the world to its shores and continues to evolve a modern culture that is born of endless variety, and yet purely, proudly Kenyan.

Kenya is steeped in myths and folklore. As in other parts of Africa, the human and the spirit worlds are inextricably bound together.

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