Customs and traditions
According to Abbreviationfinder, Angola’s population is divided into a variety of peoples and religious groups, often with different customs and traditions. The national identity is usually very weak – if it even exists. Instead, Angolans identify with their own group of people in which they share traditions, languages and history.
The traditional life patterns have changed significantly in recent decades. The elderly council, which had a strong position in the villages and who, for example, decided which crops to grow, already partially lost their function in Portugal in 1975. The responsibility of the Elder Council then transferred to a large extent to party committees and city councils, which followed centrally made decisions.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Angola, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Old social rites in connection with, among other things, births, marriages and deaths are not practiced to the same extent as before. The main reason for this is that the social structure of society was broken by the civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 2002, and by changing social patterns during the Marxist-Leninist one-party dictatorship until 1991 (see Modern history).
To health and to eat
The most common way of health is to take a hand and say olá (hello in Portuguese). Friends can give each other a hug, a cheek kiss or a thump in the back. The greeting should not be overstated too quickly and it is important to ask how it is with the other’s family. You should always greet older people first, and also bow to those who have a clearly higher age or social status. In rural areas, women do not like to see other people in the eyes, especially older women.
The root fruit cassava is the basic food. It can be ground, baked or burnt to alcohol. A traditional dish is funje, a porridge of cassava flour eaten with stewed vegetables or fish. Sweet potatoes and rice are also common. However, most families cannot afford to buy red meat or chicken.
In rural areas, Angolans usually eat from communal bowls. Older villagers take care of themselves or are served first. If someone is offered the last portion, he should mug and let the host or hostess bid both a second and third time before accepting a yes. Among some groups, men eat for themselves and women and children for themselves. Angolans are hospitable and welcome families and friends, or offer a restaurant or cafe in the cities.
Many Angolans are artistically interested and can express it in both hairstyles and clothes. Modern and western clothing is often seen in the cities, and young people like to wear jeans and t-shirts. In the villages, however, traditional garments are common. The women often wear panos, which is a colorful batik patterned fabric that is wrapped around the body.
Several important holidays are linked to the country’s dramatic history: on the day of martyrs on January 4, the victims of the colonial oppression are honored, the start of the liberation war in 1961 is celebrated on February 4, the end of the civil war in 2002 on the Day of Peace and Reconciliation, April 4, the country’s first President Agostinho Netos is celebrated on September 17 (born 1922) and Independence Day 1975 occurs on November 11.
According to Countryaah, Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter are also celebrated.
At the major national festivals, the national anthem, Angola Avante (Forward Angola), often adopted after independence is often played . You can also see the Angolan flag in the national colors red, black and yellow.
By the independence of Portugal in 1975, Angola had a relatively well-developed transport network on land, at sea and in the air. But the communications were largely destroyed during the civil war of 1975–2002. They are now being rebuilt.
All the railways were destroyed during the war in attacks from South Africa and the Unitagerillan (see also Modern history). In 2005, a major reconstruction started with the help of credit and entrepreneurs from mainly China. New lines also began to be built. In 2010, the first stretches of colorful trains and modern stations were opened.
Mining, repairs and remodeling have also been carried out on the severely damaged road network, where almost all bridges had collapsed. Many of these have been repaired and several new bridges have been built. The main roads between the largest cities and the ports of western Angola can be used today, but inland in the east the road standard is still poor. A new highway has been built in the north-south direction.
The largest ports are in Lobito, Luanda and Namibe. Imports to Angola are mainly via the port of Luanda, while oil exports are mainly from the Malongo terminal in Cabinda and in Soyo in the northwest. New commercial ports are being built north of Luanda and in Cabinda.
As land transport became more and more dangerous during the war, air travel took on a growing role, especially for inland transport. Flight is still important, and in addition to the old Luanda International Airport, a new one has been built south of the capital. In addition, there are over a hundred domestic airports and a further more than 150 runways.
The national airline TAAG Linhas Aereas de Angola receives extensive state aid in order to survive. During the 2010s, the company invested in new modern aircraft. Several privately owned companies operate the domestic lines. The oil industry staff often flies with SonAir, which is owned by the state oil company. A common destination is Houston, Texas, USA.
Presidential elections are postponed
President dos Santos announces that the presidential election will be postponed, from 2009 to 2012.
Angola exhibits diamond detectors
Angola exhibits Congolese diamond explorers. Congo-Kinshasa responds by expelling Angolan citizens.
The government is turning to the IMF
In the wake of the financial crisis and falling oil prices, the MPLA government is being forced to resume negotiations with the IMF . The country receives promises of new loans (see Finance).
Organizational members are arrested on peaceful request
The regime is starting to arrest members of the CMJSP-Lunda organization, which by peaceful means demand financial and administrative autonomy for the diamond-rich Lund provinces in northeastern Angola. For a year and a half, nearly 40 people have been arrested, accused of threatening state security.
Luanda is visited by the Pope
Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass for more than one million people in Luanda.