CULTURAL TOURISM

CULTURAL TOURISM

For the vast majority of people, Tanzania means safari and that’s normal. Tanzania, however, like all countries, also has a cultural aspect that would really be worth exploring.
By carving out a couple of days in Arusha, you can make interesting discoveries. First of all it is possible to try the local cuisine in some of the many restaurants scattered throughout the city, from the very welcoming and intimate ones where you eat lying on sofas adorned with soft cushions to the more spartan ones from a decorative point of view, but with original and tasty Tanzanian culinary proposals. Or even little places enclosed by high walls, difficult to find, which in the evening offer wild bands of Bongo Flava, the most followed music by both young and less young Tanzanians.
The Tanzanian diet is protein. Grilled, fried, cooked in coconut sauce or stewed meat and fish, always served with vegetables and ugali, the national dish. It is a kind of polenta made from white corn flour, rarely millet, which looks like a very consistent mashed potatoes, but which actually has the function of bread on our tables.

The cultural tourism projects organized by the local communities are numerous and can take from a few hours to a few days.
The excursions are themed and there are several opportunities: a day with the Waarusha, the farmers Maasai, or the Wameru, a tribe of Bantu origins from the territories surrounding Mount Meru, without forgetting the different coffee tours that offer a day at the discovery of the fabulous Arabica quality mountain coffee grown in the Kilimanjaro area, from harvesting to roasting.
Lunches are often prepared by the women of the village and the eventual overnight stay is organized with the local inhabitants or even in a Maasai boma.
It is easy to understand how these experiences are an opportunity to discover aspects of Tanzania that are normally underestimated, but of great interest.
Among the slightly more demanding trips are those to Lake Eyasi for a visit to the Datoga and Hadzabe tribes and to Lake Natron, for an encounter with the wildest nature and authentic Maasai culture that in the Ol-Doinyo Lengai volcano has its own sacred mountain.

LOCAL CRAFTSMANSHIP

There are several purchases that can be made in Tanzania, most of which are of handmade crafts or precious stones.
Among the best products you can take home are kangas, tinga tinga paintings and, of course, the tanzanite.
Kangas are multicolored sarongs that Tanzanian women wear over their clothes or on their heads. They have really beautiful patterns and often a proverb in Swahili is printed on the edges. Tanzanians deeply love proverbs and have one for every occasion.
Tingatinga painting is the most typical expression of Tanzanian art, at least from the last fifty years.
Edward Said Tingatinga, who had no money and had to work with recycled materials such as bicycle lacquers, is the creator of this technique. These lacquers will be the key to the development of his style, first of all since the available colors are few, only the basic ones. Secondly, it is not possible to dilute them. In order to paint a canvas it is necessary to proceed in layers until all the spaces are filled. This prevents shades and the contrast between the colors thus becomes the central element of this somewhat surreal and somewhat naive painting. The most common subjects are the animals of the savannah, gaudy and noisy.
The subjects are often depicted sideways of the body and frontally of the head, a bit like the splendid primitive paintings.
Of course, since Edward’s time, techniques and subjects have evolved and innovations include new issues related to modern Tanzania and the transformation of society with urban, crowded, chaotic subjects where it is not difficult to perceive irony.
From his time, this painting has been transformed and modernized, but it continues to maintain a particular, very characteristic charm.
It is easy to buy these canvases: they are found everywhere and in various formats, even very small ones, to facilitate transport. For a very reasonable price, you have the opportunity to take home a little piece of Tanzania as an everlasting memory of an extraordinary world.

TANZANITE

How many countries can boast having a precious stone that bears their name?
Tanzania has this privilege because it is the only place in the world where deposits of this wonder can be found, whose name has been chosen by the famous Tiffany jewelry to pay homage to the place of origin.
Not all of Tanzania, however. Only in the north, in the Kilimanjaro area and near Arusha. To be precise, at the foot of the Merelani Hills, Manyara region.
These specifications make you realize how rare this stone is. It was first discovered by a Maasai named Ndugu Jumanne Ngoma. The Maasai live in this region together with another tribe, that of the Chagga. The discovery of Ndugu takes place in 1967 and will remain forever linked to these people because the color of the gem is a color sacred to them.
Tanzanite has shades ranging from deep blue to purple. This color is due to the heating process of the rough stone at very high temperatures, which bring out truly incredible shades.
The color change also occurs with light and its purity can be assessed according to the level of transparency, also visible to the naked eye.
But why only in Tanzania and only in such a delimited place? For the geological transformations of the Great Rift Valley, which in the formation phase, and right here, has mixed singular phenomena such as pressures and temperatures, which have made possible the formation of such an amazing stone. This phase took about 500 million years to complete.
This, unfortunately, also means that the deposits will run out one day, and the Maasai tradition associates this moment with the one in which the large animals that currently roam the savannahs will no longer exist.
Those who are passionate about crystal therapy will know that this stone represents creativity and intuition.
This is not a cheap purchase, but it is definitely one worth it.

 

For the vast majority of people, Tanzania means safari and that’s normal. Tanzania, however, like all countries, also has a cultural aspect that would really be worth exploring.
By carving out a couple of days in Arusha, you can make interesting discoveries. First of all it is possible to try the local cuisine in some of the many restaurants scattered throughout the city, from the very welcoming and intimate ones where you eat lying on sofas adorned with soft cushions to the more spartan ones from a decorative point of view, but with original and tasty Tanzanian culinary proposals. Or even little places enclosed by high walls, difficult to find, which in the evening offer wild bands of Bongo Flava, the most followed music by both young and less young Tanzanians.
The Tanzanian diet is protein. Grilled, fried, cooked in coconut sauce or stewed meat and fish, always served with vegetables and ugali, the national dish. It is a kind of polenta made from white corn flour, rarely millet, which looks like a very consistent mashed potatoes, but which actually has the function of bread on our tables.

The cultural tourism projects organized by the local communities are numerous and can take from a few hours to a few days.
The excursions are themed and there are several opportunities: a day with the Waarusha, the farmers Maasai, or the Wameru, a tribe of Bantu origins from the territories surrounding Mount Meru, without forgetting the different coffee tours that offer a day at the discovery of the fabulous Arabica quality mountain coffee grown in the Kilimanjaro area, from harvesting to roasting.
Lunches are often prepared by the women of the village and the eventual overnight stay is organized with the local inhabitants or even in a Maasai boma.
It is easy to understand how these experiences are an opportunity to discover aspects of Tanzania that are normally underestimated, but of great interest.
Among the slightly more demanding trips are those to Lake Eyasi for a visit to the Datoga and Hadzabe tribes and to Lake Natron, for an encounter with the wildest nature and authentic Maasai culture that in the Ol-Doinyo Lengai volcano has its own sacred mountain.


LOCAL CRAFTSMANSHIP

There are several purchases that can be made in Tanzania, most of which are of handmade crafts or precious stones.
Among the best products you can take home are kangas, tinga tinga paintings and, of course, the tanzanite.
Kangas are multicolored sarongs that Tanzanian women wear over their clothes or on their heads. They have really beautiful patterns and often a proverb in Swahili is printed on the edges. Tanzanians deeply love proverbs and have one for every occasion.
Tingatinga painting is the most typical expression of Tanzanian art, at least from the last fifty years.
Edward Said Tingatinga, who had no money and had to work with recycled materials such as bicycle lacquers, is the creator of this technique. These lacquers will be the key to the development of his style, first of all since the available colors are few, only the basic ones. Secondly, it is not possible to dilute them. In order to paint a canvas it is necessary to proceed in layers until all the spaces are filled. This prevents shades and the contrast between the colors thus becomes the central element of this somewhat surreal and somewhat naive painting. The most common subjects are the animals of the savannah, gaudy and noisy.
The subjects are often depicted sideways of the body and frontally of the head, a bit like the splendid primitive paintings.
Of course, since Edward’s time, techniques and subjects have evolved and innovations include new issues related to modern Tanzania and the transformation of society with urban, crowded, chaotic subjects where it is not difficult to perceive irony.
From his time, this painting has been transformed and modernized, but it continues to maintain a particular, very characteristic charm.
It is easy to buy these canvases: they are found everywhere and in various formats, even very small ones, to facilitate transport. For a very reasonable price, you have the opportunity to take home a little piece of Tanzania as an everlasting memory of an extraordinary world.

TANZANITE

How many countries can boast having a precious stone that bears their name?
Tanzania has this privilege because it is the only place in the world where deposits of this wonder can be found, whose name has been chosen by the famous Tiffany jewelry to pay homage to the place of origin.
Not all of Tanzania, however. Only in the north, in the Kilimanjaro area and near Arusha. To be precise, at the foot of the Merelani Hills, Manyara region.
These specifications make you realize how rare this stone is. It was first discovered by a Maasai named Ndugu Jumanne Ngoma. The Maasai live in this region together with another tribe, that of the Chagga. The discovery of Ndugu takes place in 1967 and will remain forever linked to these people because the color of the gem is a color sacred to them.
Tanzanite has shades ranging from deep blue to purple. This color is due to the heating process of the rough stone at very high temperatures, which bring out truly incredible shades.
The color change also occurs with light and its purity can be assessed according to the level of transparency, also visible to the naked eye.
But why only in Tanzania and only in such a delimited place? For the geological transformations of the Great Rift Valley, which in the formation phase, and right here, has mixed singular phenomena such as pressures and temperatures, which have made possible the formation of such an amazing stone. This phase took about 500 million years to complete.
This, unfortunately, also means that the deposits will run out one day, and the Maasai tradition associates this moment with the one in which the large animals that currently roam the savannahs will no longer exist.
Those who are passionate about crystal therapy will know that this stone represents creativity and intuition.
This is not a cheap purchase, but it is definitely one worth it.

 

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