Tanzania: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

October 31, 2020
Tanzania: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

It is said that once Africa is in your blood, you will alwaysreturn there. No expression could be more aptly applied toTanzania. The country’s harsh realities, its poverty, and itsstruggles, belie the rich, deep layers of culture that make it oneof the most spectacular, impressive, and fascinating countries onthe continent.If Tanzania is an exotic tapestry of flavors, colors, andsmells, then the Tanzanians are the canvas that holds them alltogether. Made up of some 120 tribes, most with their own language,the country is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities.Collectively they have built a country where manners are valued,where handshakes are full of affection, and laughter isirrepressible. Warm, expressive, boisterous, engaging, peaceful,and, above all, friendly—there is no other people quite likethem.Gripe though you might, curse at the obstinacy, and swear at theinefficiency, once you’ve left you’ll want nothing more than toreturn; because rare is a population whose national psyche isinfused with such a spirit of helpfulness; where even a completestranger will step forward to help someone in need. This is thequality of undugu, which permeates Tanzanian society and coversmost of the country with a warm, effective social securityblanket.This book explores the country’s past to explain some of thecomplexities and contradictions of modern Tanzanian society. Itlooks at how people relate to each other at home, at work, and atplay, and offers advice on what to expect and how to behave indifferent contexts. Tanzanians are bighearted and optimistic. Makethe effort to understand them, and they will welcome youunreservedly.