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The Kenyan Communities :



Life

Traditional society

One of the most striking features for those who visit Kenya is the traditional way of life of its native people. In the traditional society, tribes or ethnic groups are normally determined by geographical region and common culture. Each group has its own social and political organization. A deep sense of kinship--connection through blood and marriage--is one of the strongest forces in traditional society. It governs marital customs and regulations, determines the behavior of one individual towards another and so on.



Religion and believes

Religious and often very superstitious, most Kenyans have a cult.
Christians: around 75% (most of them are regrouped in the center of the country).
Muslims: 10% (for historic reasons in touch with Arabic people. Most of them are on the coast).
The others: animists or Hindus (very conservative, the Indian community is concentrated on the coast (Mombasa region). There are lots of Hindus temples).
But with these “official” religious, you have some old popular believes.



Kenyan gastronomy

Kenyan cuisine generally consists of stodge filler with beans or a meat sauce. A National dish in Kenya is called “Nyama choma”: barbecue meat usually goat. Another classical dish is “Ugali”, predilection’s dish for Kenyan people: sort of corn porridge, very hard. It is served with sauce and vegetables usually.
Fruits are exceptional; the most common are papaya, mango, pineapple, banana and avocado.
Kenyan food is not really designed for gourmets or vegetarians. It is really just survival fodder for the locals, maximum filling up potential at minimum cost.
Kenyans love bear too, and there is a thriving local brewing industry.



Music and dance

Kenyan people love to go on parties. The music style known as “benga” is the contemporary dance music that rules. Music and dance play an integral and important role in social and religious life. Rhythm, the most important, is provided quasi entirely by drums accompanied by wind and stringed instruments. Each ethnics has an own style.
Two ethnics groups defer from the others for their traditional music:
- The Giriamas and the Digos on the coast: they are excellent dancers and drums talents.
- On the lakes’ region, the Luos particularly like fiestas. They influenced a lot of contemporary Kenyan groups. Their neighbors, the Luyias, are known for their rhythm and their drums as the one called “sukuti”.
- Maasai dances: extraordinary warrior ritual on the collective trance concept. They show their force and courage with a multi-voices song.

Touristy variety is a mix between rumba, American hits, Congo kouassa… And at the end of your journey, you won’t forget the famous “Jambo Bwana”, a ritual welcoming song with simple lyrics which will teach you some of useful Swahili words.



Fire

Fire is very important for traditional African societies. Some communities keep or use a "holy" fire for religious purposes. They perform a ceremony of purifying the crops when they begin to bear. Part of this ceremony involves lighting the holy fire and carrying it to all the regions. People look upon it as a "purifying flame," and eagerly wait to catch it with twigs, in order to take it to their homes. It symbolizes the process of death and resurrection, and the concept of renewal over destruction and degeneration.