Customs and traditions
In Kenya, the collective is often more important than the individual. The concept of harambee – roughly “all together” – is central. It is a tradition that exists in virtually all ethnic groups and is about joint work and shared responsibility. Since the birth of his father, Jomo Kenyatta, harambee has been something of an official slogan for the country.
By the way, many Kenyans identify more with their people than with the nation. This is especially true of people in the countryside who have retained many old customs. At least this applies to perhaps the largest group of people, the Kikuyas, who played a prominent role in the liberation struggle and have continued political and economic dominance.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Kenya, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Health is important in Kenya. It is important not to be in a hurry. You address people you do not know well with title and last name. Jambo is the most common greeting phrase. Then you are happy to shake hands and inquire about the opposing party’s health and family. However, a man should not give a woman the hand but in that case let her take the initiative for a handshake. Women who know each other well can hug and kiss each other on one cheek. When shaking hands with an elderly person, you can hold your right wrist with your left hand, as a sign of respect. It is important to show the older reverence.
According to Abbreviationfinder, Kenyans appear friendly and hospitable. You value restraint and often avoid expressing yourself too directly. Instead, a Kenyan often takes to a parable or story to make a point of view. To openly show anger can be seen as a sign of mental instability.
Those who are invited to a Kenyan home are often offered food or tea, and it is considered unfair to refuse. A guest is happy to bring flowers or some sweet. Gifts may be something simple and practical, but it should be neatly wrapped. Everything should be handed with the right hand or both hands, never with the left hand.
Food and clothing
Table habits vary. Normally, it is considered polite to eat all the food on the plate. At meals, no drinks are often served, it only comes afterwards. Many Kenyans consider it inappropriate to eat and drink at the same time.
Corn porridge, posho or ugali, is the staple food for many in Kenya. It is often eaten with mashed beans, potatoes and vegetables, and is then called irio. Anyone who can afford eats meat. On festive occasions, the one who is happy to slaughter a goat or cow. Livestock farmers largely live on dairy products, while fish are common on the coast and on Lake Victoria. Banana porridge, matoke, is also popular. Beer is brewed locally and found everywhere. A special kind made with honey is called uki. Otherwise, you are happy to drink tea, generally served with a lot of milk and sugar.
Western attire is most common, especially in cities. Many women like to wear a colorful kanga, a large rectangular piece of cloth that is wrapped around the body like a skirt or shawl. Headscarves are also common. Many nomadic people wear many traditional clothing. The Masais, for example, are known for their characteristic red hems and large necklaces.
Perhaps the most important national holiday is the jamhuri day on December 12. Jamhuri means “republic” in Swahili and the day celebrates both independence on December 12, 1963 and the proclamation of the republic a year later. On June 1, Madaraka Day is celebrated, when inner self-government was proclaimed in 1963. On October 20, the former Kenyatta Day was named, in memory of the liberation hero Kenyatta. Nowadays it is called mashujaa day – mashujaa means hero and the day is now celebrated memory of all who died in the struggle for independence.
According to Countryaah, other non-religious holidays are New Year’s Day on January 1 and Labor Day on May 1. The religious days that are national holidays are Good Friday and Sunday Easter, Christmas Day and Christmas Day, as well as id al-fitr which ends the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Muslims also celebrate the sacrificial holiday id al-adha and Hindu light festival diwali (dipavali), but they are not holidays for the entire population. The Masais celebrate the beginning of the rainy season with a multi-day celebration of ritual dances and prayers for the animals. The kikuys have festivities in connection with the sowing, including those with ceremonial dances.
Initiation rites are common for both boys and girls.
The transport systems in Kenya are relatively efficient, even though road maintenance is neglected. Mombasa has the largest port on the east coast of Africa, and the airport in Nairobi is an important regional hub.
Through Mombasa, huge quantities of goods pass to and from, among others, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo-Kinshasa. Congestion and delays are major problems but an extension of the harbor is ongoing. A new major port is planned in Lamu in the north. The port, which will be completed by 2030, will become a hub for trade and traffic in East Africa. From the port, there will be oil pipelines to South Sudan and rail to Ethiopia and Uganda.
In recent years, a refurbishment of the road network has begun, including between Nairobi and Mombasa. A new multi-lane motorway with car tolls will be ready by 2024.
The rail system consists of a main line that extends from Mombasa via Nairobi into Uganda, and side tracks to Tanzania, among others. Work is underway to upgrade the railway from Mombasa to Malaba at the Ugandan border. The hope is that it will help to increase trade in the region. The nearly 50-mile-long stretch between Mombasa and Nairobi, Madaraka Express, was commissioned in May 2017. The new railroad was built by a Chinese company and the project, which cost nearly $ 4 billion, became four times as expensive as originally planned, and the construction has surrounded by accusations of corruption, poor working conditions for the railroad builders and insufficient compensation for those who had to sell their land. The railway construction has been financed to 85 percent through loans from China.
In addition to regular buses, there is also a private public taxi, called matatu, within and between cities. Boat connections are available on Lake Victoria between Kisumu and Port Bell in Uganda.
From Nairobi there is extensive air traffic to Europe, Asia, the USA and to other parts of Africa. Kenya Airways is one of the major airlines in Africa and has long been one of the few profitable on the continent. The company has long had extensive freight traffic with flowers and fruits to Europe. After major investments in new aircraft that coincided with a sharp decline in the tourism industry, the company was in acute crisis in 2015.
In addition to Nairobi, international airports are also located in Mombasa and Eldoret. In addition, there are a number of smaller airports for domestic traffic.
Nearly 4 million Kenyans need food assistance
The United Nations Food Program WFP appeals for funding to help 3.8 million Kenyans with food. Famine threatens due to severe drought and high prices of maize.
Names of suspected offenders are provided to the ICC
UN mediator Kofi Annan announces that he has handed over a sealed envelope to the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the names of the persons suspected of organizing the violence after the 2007 elections.