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Tolerant Tanzania

Tolerant Tanzania

Monday 17th December 2012

Inspire Volunteer has been working in Tanzania for so long now that sometimes they forget just how special this country really is.

With that in mind they thought it would be a good idea to share some of the remarkable social idiosyncrasies of this wonderful country.

The demography of Tanzania is extremely complex and the peaceful coexistence of more than 126 ethnic groups is a source of great admiration for Africans and foreign travellers alike. Each ethnic group has its own language but Swahili is the official national language. According to the official linguistic policy of Tanzania, as announced in 1984, Swahili is the language of the social and political sphere as well as primary and adult education, whereas English is the language of secondary education, universities, technology and higher courts.

Tanzanian children are being encouraged to learn English as the language of opportunity and many schools are moving towards conducting their operations in English medium. In terms of their tribal heritage however many children now only speak Swahili and some of the tribal languages are being lost. This is demonstrative of the gradual process of assimilation towards a unified sense of Tanzanian culture.

Tanzanians pride themselves on being peaceful people and particularly the fact that different tribes work and live together so harmoniously. Tanzania doesn’t suffer from any of the tribal tensions of Kenya. Socializing and visiting friends is the major pastime and Tanzanians are very friendly and open. Family is very important and extended families often live together, this means Tanzanian homes are usually busy with plenty going on!

People love to welcome visitors and it is seen as a great honour. Foreign travellers find they are asked lots and lots of questions about life at home. You will hear the Swahili word ‘Karibu’ all the time, which means ‘Welcome’. Tanzanians are jointly fascinated by foreign visitors and acutely aware of the opportunities that volunteers’ efforts bring to their country.

Karibu Inspire Volunteers in Tanzania!