A bit of culture and style

Just a bit of culture and style

There are many things to know if you want to understand a different culture. Not necessarily striking things. On the contrary, the small things of everyday life are fundamental.

The kanga, for example. A kanga is a piece of fabric that Tanzanian women put on their clothes, their shoulders or their heads. Two pieces of fabric, to tell the truth. Kangas are sold in pairs. They have both rectangular or squared shape and the printing covers a huge range of topics like geometric ones, animals or even famous people. Every kanga has got its own proverb: Tanzanians are famous for their proverbs and in this way it stops to be a simple piece of fabric and becomes a kind of brand, something that puts a group members in connection.

Another very typical Tanzanian product is the Tanzanite, an astonishing blue gem  that you can find only in Tanzania.

Very rare, all the mines are concentrated in an area near the Kilimanjaro called the Merelani Hills, Manyara Region. A Masai, Mr Ndugu Jumanne Ngoma, discovered it in the first place in 1967 and it remained from that moment very important for the Masai people, also because blue is a sacred colour to them. The blue is obtained by heating the stone at extremely high tempertures and the result is outstanding. The downside is that it is quite expensive. If you want to admire it you can visit the little Tanzanite Museum in Arusha, Blue Plaza Building, India Street, third floor. http://www.tanzaniteexperience.com

To conclude this overview on the pecularities of Tanzania’s culture, we cannot forget the fundi. Your car is broken, the telephone doesn’t work, your shirt needs to be fixed? Don’t worry: there is a fundi for everything. And they are magical! They can fix anything. Good, quick and cheap. The only real problem is the local language. Not everybody speaks English and, unless you are fluent in Kiswahili, you need a local person to escort you and solve this for you.