Tanzanian Culture

Tanzania is twice the size of the state of California and known as the best place for safaris. Home to wildebeest, rainforests teeming with monkeys and birds, coral reefs with tropical fish, elephants and more, Tanzania contains stunning wildlife. The largest city is in Tanzania is Dar es Salaam, which has more than six million residents.

Tanzanian social systems are group oriented, which means individuals generally put their needs second to the group’s. As a result, Tanzanians tend to be extremely polite and generous, especially in public. Education, wealth, and uniformity are characteristics generally praised in others.

Host a Tanzanian student in the U.S.

Tanzanian People and Community

The average number of children in a Tanzanian family is five. In Tanzania, immediate and extended family are not differentiated: cousins are referred to as brothers and sisters, and uncles and aunts are referred to as fathers and mothers. A typical rural household is large. The father is the traditional head of the family, but mothers carry power as the managers of the family. They oversee child rearing farming, cooking, and other household related tasks.

Language and Communication Styles

Swahili (also called kiswahili), the official language of Tanzania.

Food in Tanzania

Important foods in Tanzania are rice, bananas, and ugali (a stiff porridge made from maize, millet, sorghum, or cassava). Rice is the staple of much of the coastal area and is often cooked with a variety of spices (including cloves, curry, cinnamon, cumin, and hot peppers). Cooked bananas are a starch staple in much of northern Tanzania (and in the southwest). Other popular fruits include mangoes, guavas, pineapples, jackfruit, breadfruit, and oranges. Chicken, goat, and lamb are often served as nyama choma (roasted meat). Kitumbua and sugarcane are popular snacks.

Additional Resources