Culture in Namibia

Namibia was colonized by Germany and South Africa, and for years, discrimination because of race was very widespread. However, when Namibia gained independence in 1991, their slogan became "Unity in Diversity." Language, spirituality and food help form what is today the past and present of the culture in Namibia.

Language

Even though the nation has fewer than 2 million people, there are several languages used. These include Bantu languages, Bushman languages and Indo-European languages:

*Oshiwambo
*Otjiherero
*Nama
*Damara
*Afrikaans
*English

Why all the different languages? Afrikaans is very widely spoken because it was considered the language of communication before they won their independence. English was chosen after independence as the language for government and education so individuals could partake more in the rest of the world. Other languages are native to the area, and are the native language of the majority of individuals within the nation. Sometimes, social division affects language acquisition.

Spirituality

Most of Namibia practices Christianity. Easter and Christmas are holidays which many people celebrate with their families. Islam is also widely practiced.

Food

For special occasion, including holidays and weddings, cattle and goats are often slaughtered to be shared with friends and family. This meal is accompanied by home-brewed beer and other foods and beverages. However, o­n a more daily basis, millet and sorghum are consumed, along with some greens or dairy products. Fish is also becoming a more staple part of the diet.

The Social System

Men and women have very traditional roles in Namibian society, with men working in the fields and women caring for children and running the household. Like in many nations, the wealthiest o­ne percent of the population has more than the lowest 50 percent all rolled into o­ne.

Namibia is growing and changing quickly, particularly since winning its independence.