Tanzania has a rich tradition of the Tanzania culture. This is evident from the fact that the Tanzania’s various festivals such as the Serengeti Festival, the Nangururu Festival, the Manyara ya Maasai ( Elephant festival) and the Aidilikulani ya Maasai (Lion festival) have been celebrated with great zeal for decades. This is also the reason why many tourists from all over the world are enticed to visit Tanzania, to witness the rich Tanzania culture.
Tanzania growth challenges
The Tanzania culture is greatly influenced by the indigenous ethnic groups of Tanzania, more specifically, the Tswana, Udumbira, Murambi, Maasi and Southern Baithas. Each of these ethnic groups has, at one point or another, been recognized by the Western world as their own cultural group. For example, Tswana and Murambi were successfully included in the Commonwealth of Nations (an attempt by England and France to include black African nations in their Commonwealth). Likewise, Maasi and Udumbira were formally accepted as states in Zambia and Kenya, respectively. Though unrecognized by the Western world, these ethnic groups have, on the whole, managed to maintain their distinct identity and preserve their communal customs and practices.
According to many analysts, there are four defining characteristics of the tanzania culture: the worship of nature, syncretism, the role of the female as the head of the family and the right hand of the male as the chief authority. These characteristics of the tanzania culture are also reflected in the customary laws and social structures of the tanzania people. Some fundamental differences between tanners and tanzans may be observed. This article briefly highlights some of these differences.
The worship of nature is one of the core values of the Tanzania culture, as is evident from the existence of various national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserves, such as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the north east of the country and the Serengeti National Park in the Serengeti plains. It is a religion which has roots in the Maasi tribe which is the oldest member of the Tanzania ethnic group. Worshippers of nature are called tanzacs. Thus, tanzania cultural icons such as the mongooses, baboons and hyenas are also considered to be representative of natural beings.
Another core value of the tanzania culture is syncretism – a combination of East African and Western cultural elements. The concept of syncretism is always ask at the time of incorporation. For instance, the term kerato-anga, which means “a mix of two cultures,” is used to describe the blending of the western Manda and the eastern Manda cultures. The concept is very important for understanding the mindset of the tanzania people. In many cases, the country’s borders with both Muslim and Christian groups are still very much separated by spiritual lines. Thus, it is quite easy to see why syncretism can be so important in the case of the tanzania people, as it helps to bridge the gaps between the various ethnic groups that make up their culture.
Some other core values in the tanzania society are tolerance and freedom. The concept of freedom of thought and expression is widely practiced in Tanzania, unlike what is practiced in many African countries where political opposition is often met with severe rights abuses, often led by members of minority groups who believe that they have a right to speak out against the governments that protect them. Tolerance on the other hand, does not just mean tolerating other cultures, but it also means accepting other views of different ethnic groups living in Tanzania, without imposing ones own on others. To put it simply, tanzania enjoys a certain level of separation from its ethnic neighbors, even though these borders are artificial due to the influx of colonizers. This has helped Tanzania to forge a strong sense of national identity among its citizens, which is one of the most important pillars of stability and peace in Africa.
Unity in Diversity: Although many would-be immigrants from south Asia and the west opt for the unity of the tanzania culture and religion, they may not realize how significant this actually is in everyday life. For example, it was a major source of discord and conflict in Nigeria before the advent of the multiparty system. But the same sense of unity pervades tanzania’s residents, even those who do not practice the Muslim faith. All Tanzania citizens appear to live in the same space, with their identities and cultural expressions mirroring the universal moral code that transcends religious and ethnic boundaries. A commonality of values that have produced peace and stability in many African countries cannot be overlooked when debating the causes and origins of Tanzania’s communal turmoil.
Post Ethnic Flow: Though there have been major changes brought by the arrival of international terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda in East Africa, the basic dynamics of the tanzania society has remained largely the same. This is a great concern for many who fear that the erosion of cultural norms and identities could trigger dangerous repercussions in areas with sizable Muslim and Christian populations. While many would-be migrants blame the west for failing to understand and adapt to the new cultural patterns that have accompanied mass influx, experts in the field argue that much of the blame should be laid at the doorstep of those who failed to understand and adapt to the new realities of Tanzania’s changing demography. According to some analysts, it is important to acknowledge that Tanzania’s population trends are changing, and that the consequences will be felt for decades to come. This article is intended to raise awareness among readers about some of the critical issues related to Tanzania’s post-colonial history and the impact of associated demographic trends on Tanzania’s future development.