Customs and traditions
As is usually the case in countries with a great ethnic diversity, the different peoples of Mali have different customs, although the authorities since the 1960s have sought to create a national identity.
This is built up by a common struggle against colonialism, reverence for Mali’s rich history, common national holidays and the construction of statues depicting common freedom heroes etc.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Mali, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Visit in a Malian home
Hospitality is a virtue in Mali. When you visit a Malian home for the first time, the host and guest greet each other through a right-handed handshake. Learn some greeting phrases. In the biggest language bamboo, men and women respond differently to a greeting phrase: men say nba, women say nsé. For example, if someone says Good Morning (I ni Sogoma), a man answers nba while a woman says nsé. It is especially important to show respect to older family members. Feel free to bring a small, but not too expensive, gift.
The traditional way to share a meal is to eat from the same dish. At least in the countryside, this is still the most common way to eat together. Usually, the meal usually consists of grain sorghum or millet (in the cities it is more common with rice) with some kind of sauce as an accessory or in the form of porridge. The food is eaten with your right hand.
In the capital Bamako you can buy all kinds of foods, such as fish, meat and vegetables of various kinds, in markets and in shops. But in rural areas, people usually only have access to food for their own survival – if even that. Dishes found in almost the entire country are nsaamé or riz au gras (rice dish with meat and vegetables), jinjinbere (a drink made from water, sugar, lemon and ginger) and dabileni (a kind of drink).
The vast majority of males dress in domestic ways, although some young men prefer Western clothing. Men often dress in a zerebou, which is a long tunic over long pants. On more festive occasions, a grand boubou is created, that is, a long, large embroidered coat worn over a tunic and trousers.
According to Abbreviationfinder, among Mali’s women, Western clothing is unusual. Everyday women wear a blouse and a pagne, which is a long fabric ham wrapped around the waist like a skirt. Even women use a boubou when they are to be finely dressed. It is common for women to have beautiful hair sets and maybe a wrap wrapped around their hair.
Westerners who live in Mali or are visiting Western summer wear, preferably thin cotton fabrics. However, do not wear shorts, but rather cover both legs and arms. Choose lightly washed clothes as the air is often dusty with soft from the desert. Bring a light jacket or sweater and an umbrella during the rainy season. Wear comfortable shoes or sandals without high heels. The streets of Bamako and other cities are often narrow, without pavements. It may be wise to put on a hat to protect the hot sun.
New Year’s Day on January 1st is a public holiday in Mali. January 20 is the day of the armed forces. On March 25, the overthrow of the dictator Moussa Traoré is noted. Workers’ Day, May 1, is celebrated. Africa Day is celebrated on May 25 in memory of the founding of the African Unity Organization OAU (now AU). Independence Day falls on September 22.
In the Muslim-dominated Mali, a number of religious celebrations and celebrations are also celebrated, such as Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, Prophet Muhammad’s baptism day, the day of the sacrifice of a sheep and the end of the month of Ramadan. Exactly when these weekends or holidays are celebrated varies with the Muslim lunar calendar.
According to Countryaah, Christian holidays are also holidays.
The UN gives the go-ahead for action
The Security Council gives its formal approval to an international troop operation in northern Mali.
The government is leaving
Acting Prime Minister Diarra and his entire government are departing since Diarra was arrested by soldiers on order by the coup leader Amadou Sanogo. For a long time there has been tensions between the civilian leaders and the former military junta who took power in March. The President appoints his close associate Django Sissoko as new head of government.
AU cancels suspension of Mali
This is done in connection with the Union drawing up a plan for international intervention against the rebels. AU also supports a new election plan in Mali.
Mali requests military support
After a long period of reflection, President Traoré appeals to Ecowas for a military intervention against the rebels in the north. The government is also giving the go-ahead to allow a regional military force to be based outside Bamako, and, together with Ecowas, is seeking UN support for a base of 3,000 men.
Rebels move south
Islamist militia occupies the city of Douentza, which is outside the area in the north that the Islamists previously controlled. The local militia formed to defend the city is reported to have surrendered without a fight. Islamists are now only 19 miles from the capital Mopti, which is on the front line of the government army.
Unity government is formed
A unifying government replaces the weak interim government that ruled since the military junta resigned in April. Acting Prime Minister Modibo Diarra remains as prime minister. The Assembly government has 31 members, of which five are said to be close to Amadou Sanogo.
Struggles between people groups
In the month of May / June, strife breaks out between peasants from the Dogon people and livestock-feeding fulani. At least 30 people are killed.
Agreement between rebel groups
MNLA and Ansar al-Din enter into an agreement to jointly govern a new Islamic state in the north. After just a few weeks, fighting breaks out between the two groups.
The military’s continued involvement creates concern
In practice, Ecowas is forced to accept the junta’s continued influence and agrees to grant the dome leader Sanogo the same salary and bodyguard protection as a former head of state is entitled to. The deal leads to protesters storming the presidential office and abusing President Traoré so badly that he may be brought unconscious to hospital. He is later brought to France for continued care. The protesters object to “the remission of the ruling class”. The presidential guard is said to have shot dead three protesters.
Attempt to counter-kick
Forces loyal to former President Touré make an effort to regain power. After two days of fighting in Bamako and its environs, the military junta claims that it has control over the situation and that the counter-coup has been defeated. The fighting is said to have taken up to 30 lives.
The junta gives up
The military junta agrees with mediators from Ecowas to relinquish power to the President of Parliament. The junta members are promised amnesty and Ecowas promises to immediately lift all sanctions. The next day, Touré announces from his hiding place that he is leaving formally to pave the way for an orderly change of power. He then flies to Senegal. President Dioncounda Traoré temporarily takes over the presidential post. The role of the coup leader Sanogo and his military junta in the future remains unclear. Acting Prime Minister will be Modibo Diarra, Africa Head of Microsoft IT.
Rebels announce new state
The MNLA proclaims the independent state of Azawad, but both the AU and the EU immediately say no to diplomatic recognition.
Warning for humanitarian disaster in the north
Amnesty International raises extensive looting, abductions and rapes in the rebel-controlled areas.
When the deadline for the junta to expire expires before the regional cooperation organization Ecowas, the sanctions threatened with a few days earlier, which puts the country under severe economic pressure. Shortly thereafter, the United States also faces sanctions, in the form of travel bans. The sanctions apply to anyone who “hinders a return to a democratically elected civilian government” and anyone who “actively supports” the junta.
The pressure from the outside world causes the coup leaders to revert to the old constitution and announce that a “national dialogue” will contribute to a rapid return to civilian rule and general elections. While the coup makers are being pressured by the outside world, the MNLA rebels can almost without resistance take on the important provincial capitals of Gao and Timbuktu in the north. Thus, Mali is in practice divided in the middle.
Ultimatum to the coup makers
Since the MNLA rebels occupy the largest city to date in the northeast, Kidal, the military junta is appealing for international assistance in fighting the uprising. The message from the regional cooperation organization Ecowas is that the junta must leave within three days, otherwise the neighboring countries will close all border crossings and block the country’s assets in the regional central bank.
New constitution is presented
The coup leaders state after a few days that they have written a new temporary constitution and that the junta’s leader Captain Amadou Sanogo is until now head of state. General elections are promised, however unclear when. Ordinary elections would have been held April 29; Touré was not allowed to stand by the constitution. It is unclear where he is, but he tells a French radio station that he remains in the country and not arrested.
Soldiers carry out a coup d’état
Soldiers occupy the Presidential Palace after battles in Bamako. They proclaim curfew and say that the constitution is repealed and the democratic institutions dissolved. The coup makers say they have formed a governing council and promise to return power to elected politicians “as soon as the country is reunited and its integrity is no longer threatened”. The coup is described as a protest that the government did not provide the military with sufficient resources to defeat the Tuareg uprising in the north.
Several cities in the north are reported to have been occupied by advancing rebel forces.
Protests in Bamako
Major protests continue outside the presidential palace in the capital for several days. The demonstrations are directed at the government, which they believe cannot handle the Tuareg uprising in the north. Many protesters have relatives who have fallen victim to the fighting. Car tires are burned and roads are blocked in Bamako.
Rebel attacks in the north
The newly formed Tuareg National Movement for Azawad’s Liberation (MNLA) goes to attack Aguelhok and Tessalit in the north. The army claims that at least 45 rebels have been killed in the fighting. Some of the rebels should have recently returned from Libya, where they were part of the former Gaddafi regime’s security forces. Even a newly formed Islamist Tuaregmilis, Tron’s defender (Ansar al-Din), advances against the army’s posts.