Traditions in Africa
Many different ethnic groups live together in Zambia. Again and again people immigrated to the country and brought their cultures and traditions with them. There are many different festivals that take place in the regions of the country.
The Kazanga Festival is one of the oldest traditions in the country. This is celebrated between June and August. Those who want to get to know the ancient customs of the traditional Bantu peoples of Africa should visit such a festival. The people are happy, they dance and make their traditional music.
Who are the Lozi?
Another famous festival is called Kuomboka. This is a festival that always takes place towards the end of the rainy season and is mainly celebrated in the western parts of the country. This festival is one of the ancient festivals of the Lozi people and is one of the most famous folk festivals in all of Africa. Translated, this means “to get out of the water onto dry ground”.
The Lozi are an ethnic group that immigrated from the area of the Congo to today’s Zambia many centuries ago. To this day, the Lozi insist on their independence. They always wanted to break away from the Zambian state. There is a conflict between the government, which wants to maintain the unity of the country on a political level, and the Lozi striving for independence.
In many schools in Zambia, people dance and sing together with teachers and students during the breaks. Many of these dances and the music are inspired by ancient folk traditions. In any case, you avoid nodding off during the breaks!
Urban and countryside
Many of the old traditions of Zambia only exist in the countryside, in the cities people often live almost like in the west. We also have differences between urban and rural areas, but in many African countries these are even greater. In Zambia, too, you will find traditions where there are tourists. They like to watch it.
You get creative for playing
Many people in Zambia are poor. There is no money to buy toys. But Zambian children also want to play like all children and they often make do with the simplest means. There are a lot of stones in Zambia and they are great to play with! And you can make a ball out of old plastic bags.
Children in Zambia
Children in Zambia love to play soccer. The national team in Zambia is a role model for many. Football is definitely the most popular sport that children, but also many adults, play. Even small children start playing. Often there are no real soccer balls, but the children have to tinker their balls together, often from old rags or whatever is available.
But since you don’t need so much besides a ball and a soccer team to play soccer, many children in Zambia can play soccer, girls and boys. Sometimes there are aid organizations that donate basic equipment with a ball and jerseys to the kids, then it’s like the grown-ups.
Another popular game is called Isolo. This is a board game. You play it on a rectangular wooden board and the game pieces consist of simple stones or plant seeds.
Another popular game is called Nchuba, which mostly girls play. No complicated materials are needed here either. It is enough to dig a hole 25 centimeters wide and place ten stones around it. The stones would then have to be skilfully loaded into the hole and the first to succeed wins the game.
Many people work as small farmers. The problem is that in the period from March to September many people can find work for a short time and then also be able to support their families. But that doesn’t work in the period from October to February. Many families then try to ensure their survival in the cities. But here the conditions are often even worse and they have to live in poor slums on the outskirts of the larger cities.
Fight against AIDS
According to ejinhua.org, 16 percent of all pregnant Zambian women are infected with AIDS and a third of the children would inherit the virus. But there are drugs that can prevent this. There is a program to protect the babies. The woman must take medication until and shortly after the birth. This is how babies are born without the Hi virus. This program is available in some villages and clinics in Zambia.
The program is accompanied by an information campaign. But at the beginning, many women did not want to be tested at all. Now you are trying to include the men and the program is much more successful. The mothers should not breastfeed their children, because the virus can still be passed on in this way.
A poor country
Almost half of the residents of Zambia are children. 950,000 of them are orphans whose parents have died. Most of them died of the viral disease AIDS, which is widespread throughout Africa. Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world, 64 out of 100 people have to get by on less than 1.90 dollars a day.
But children still get infected. However, these children can also be treated with medication that prevents the disease from developing completely. But you have to test the children and see if they have the virus or not.
Exclusion of the sick
Many problems remain, but there are also positive things to report. The problem was often that people with AIDS were marginalized. Education helped here. Many people were insecure because they did not know how the virus was transmitted. Especially those who believe in the natural religions thought it was witchcraft. Women with AIDS have been expelled from their community, and in some cases this is still the case. Men who have AIDS often simply ignore this fact or do not talk about it.
It is important that people take their medication regularly. There is a mobile health service that visits the sick on a regular basis. The acutely ill are visited by these helpers. The helpers make sure that people get their medication on time and take it. Family members can also help. The education leads to the fact that sick people are no longer excluded. Aids sufferers in Zambia often lead a completely normal life.