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Tanzania: Tanzania Art and Culture Profile




Over 100 languages are spoken in Tanzania, most of them from the Bantu family. Next independence, the government recognized that this represented a problem for national unity, and as a result introduced the Swahili language (Kiswahili) into all primary schools to spread its use. Kiswahili is the de facto official language; it is not clear what the de jure official language or languages of the country are. However, English is so commonly used that it often serves the purpose.

Given the conditions of the period, it was not possible to introduce Kiswahili in all educational system, because the scale of the task of writing or translating textbooks for primary schools was by presently considerable. As a result, English, the colonial language since the end of the Initial World War, is still the language of high schools and universities. A lot of students leave school next finishing primary education.

Although the a lot of tribal languages are not actively suppressed, they do not enjoy the same linguistic rights as Swahili, and little by little they are disappearing, see language extinction. To date none of them has entirely vanished, but it is clear that unless the linguistic policy is changed, a lot of will any minute at this time cease to exist.

National anthem

The Tanzanian national anthem is Mungu Ibariki Afrika (God Bless Africa), composed by South African composer Enock Sontonga. The song is as well the national anthem of South Africa (with an extra tune) and Zimbabwe.

Art music

The music industry in Tanzania has seen a lot of changes in the completed ten years.With the mix of outside culture and the original feel of rich Tanzanian culture, Tanzanian musicians have become one of the best artists in East Africa.From the legendary artists such as Dionys Mbilinyi,Sabinus Komba and a lot of others,to new vibrat artists in R&B,Pop,Zouk,Taarab and Dance Music.


Tanzanian cuisine is both incomparable and widely varied. Tanzania is made of the mainland (Tanganyika) and the Islands (Zanzibar & Pemba). Along the coastal regions (Dar-es-salaam, Tanga, Bagamoyo, Zanzibar & Pemba),spicey foods are common, and there is as well much use of coconut milk. Regions in Tanzania's mainland as well have their own incomparable foods. Some typical mainland Tanzanian foods include, Rice (Wali), Ugali, Chapati(a kind of bread), Nyama Choma, Mshikaki, Fish, Pilau & Biryani, Ndizi-Nyama, Plantains, vegetables as part of diet (Bamia/Okra, Mchicha/spinach, Njegere/green peas, Maharage/Beans, Kisamvu/Cassava leaves)etc.

Famous Snacks:Bread rolls- Maandazi, Visheti, Kashata, Kabab, Samosa (Sambusa), Mkate wa kumimina, Vileja, Vitumbua ,Bagia & a lot of others

Beverages A lot of people drink tea (Chai) in Tanzania.Usually we drink tea in the morning,during breakfast with Chapati (pancakes), Maandazi (Bread rolls of various types),and at times at night during supper. Coffee is second,and usually is taken in the evening,at the same time as the sun is cool,and people are on the front porch, playing cards or Bao. A lot of drink coffee with Kashata (a very sweet snack made from coconut meat or groundnuts).

There are as well local beverages depending on the different tribes and regions.E.g. Local Brews: For coastal regions,such as Tanga and Dar-es-salaam, Mnazi/Tembo is widely consumed. Other brews include Wanzuki and Mbege part the Chagga, and Lubisi and Nkonyagi inclunding Mbandule part the Haya found on the shore of Lake Victoria.