INTRODUCTION: Customs and traditions are vary from countryto another because each country has its own customs andtraditions. A tradition is a belief which passed downwithin a society in the past, and still maintained in thepresent. Common examples include holidays, clothes ,food,happy and sad occasions and also occasions which related tothe religion . this is also applied to social norms such asgreetings and the ways of welcoming guests. Traditions and customs can last for thousandsof years and still reserved while new traditions continue toappear over the years.
Sudanese Hospitality: Many people are talking about the kindnessand hospitality that offered by Sudanese people. TheSudanese people are very generous and hospitable. Whenguests come to Sudanese homes they always welcome themin a friendly and generous manner. They also make it theirduty to entertain their guests, and to make themcomfortable. Sudanese people are well known for theirunique brand of hospitality both to Sudanese friends aswell as to any people who come to the Sudan from othercountries.
Every Sudanese of the family believes that itis his duty to maintain into his children a sense ofhospitality. Because those children will be the parents ofthe future and they will influence the values of our society.This practice has dominated Sudanese lives and their ways ofthinking. You can find people travelling to distant places insidethe Sudan without carrying any food with them. Yet they arealways sure of finding food and even a place to stay. Whenever a Sudanese guest is present, either forbusiness or for social reasons, he will be presented with a drinkand some other refreshment such as small pieces of candy andcake or other refreshments. And if someone asked a Sudaneseperson if he had such a thing, he will simply offers it. Of course the ways of showing hospitality aredifferent from one area to another. But in all areas the tradition ofwelcoming and looking after their guests is the same.
Greeting: The customs of greeting upon two menmeeting each other is to shake hands and tap each other’sshoulder at the same time. A hug and rubbing of cheeksmay be exchanged between Sudanese ladies and theirfriends.
Traditional clothing for Sudanese men: However, most individualSudanese wear either traditional or westernclothes. A traditional garb for men that wornin Sudan is the “jalabiya”, which is a loose-fitting, long-sleeved and white colored with“sirwal” (loose pants) and “taqia”(cap) and“imma” (a long turban) and “markoob”(leather shoe). The jalabiya is accompanied by alarge scarf worn by men “shal”, and thegarment may be white, colored, striped, andmade of fabric varying in thickness,depending on the season of the year andpersonal preferences.
The “taqia” is a short androunded cap. It can be any colour. Some SudaneseMuslims wrap the “imma” (turban) around the cap. “Markoob” is a traditional Sudanese shoe formen. It is made of leather.
Traditional clothing for Sudanese women: Sudanese woman wears a traditional “thawb”. "Thawb" means "garment" in Arabic, and the thawb itself is the traditional clothes for Sudanese women. “Thawb” is a long and wrapped around the body. And it has different colours and textures.
Food in Daily Life: The day usually begins with a cup of tea. Breakfast is eaten in the mid- to late morning, generally consisting of beans, salad, and bread. Millet is the staple food in some areas, and it is prepared in as a porridge called ‘’asida’’ or ‘kisra’’. Vegetables are prepared in stews or salads. A dish of broad beans “ful” is common in Sudan.
Nomads in the north rely on dairyproducts and meat from camels. Ingeneral, meat is expensive and not oftenconsumed. Sheep are killed for feasts orto honour or a special guest. Theintestines, lungs, and liver of the animalare prepared with chilli pepper in aspecial dish called “marara”. Sometimes cooking is donein the courtyards outside the house on atin grill called a “kanoon”, which usescharcoal as fuel. Tea and coffee are both verypopular drinks. Coffee beans are fried,and then ground with cloves and spices.Then the liquid is Poured into sieve andserved in tiny cups.
Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions:At the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of theGreat Sacrifice, it is customary to kill asheep, and to give part of the meat topeople who cannot afford it themselves.At Eid al_Adha Sudanese people preparea large family meal of sheep meet withchilli and other dishes .The Eid al-Fitr, orBreaking of the Ramadan Fast is anotherjoyous occasion, and it also involves alarge family meal. The birthday of theProphet Muhammad is primarily achildrens holiday, celebrated withspecial desserts: pink sugar dolls andsticky sweets made from nuts andsesame seeds.
Sudanese henna: Henna is a beautifulSudanese tradition. Henna is a pastethat is made from the leaves of theHenna bush. The leaves are picked andmade into a powder. Then water isadded to the powder until it gets pasty. The paste is put into acone that can be made of a sturdyplastic bag, and then it is used like apen to draw beautiful drawings on thehands or feet. It is left to dry, thenwashed off.
Henna is a beautiful Sudanese tradition.Henna is a paste that is made from the leaves of theHenna bush. The leaves are picked and made into apowder. Then water is added to the powder until it getspasty. The paste is put into a cone that can be made ofa sturdy plastic bag, and then it is used like a pen to drawbeautiful drawings on the hands or feet. It is left to dry,then washed off.
If you are careful, your henna can last for over threeweeks before fading away! Traditional designs are mostlyof roses and flowers. They’re very popular and mostlydone on the hands and feet.
Men also use “henna” .They put it on their handsand feet for their weddings! In the grooms "Henna party" right before thewedding, his mother, sisters, and aunts get together, sit himon a decorated bed, and put henna on his feet and his hands(not drawing). Meanwhile, all his female relatives aresinging and dancing, and his brothers and guy friends all getone hand "hennaed"! Henna has been used for over 5000 years inmany countries around the world to decorate womens handsand feet, and especially married women and brides. Some make it light orange, some make it red,but Sudanese like to make it BLACK and shiny !
Wedding in Sudan: Wedding is one of the most important occasions in Sudan. Itreflects the culture and hospitality of the Sudanese people . The arrangement of it begins before two monthswhen the bridegroom family comes to the bride family to givethem “ALSHAILA” which is a big group of clothes, creams andperfumes for the bride. It also includes the money that called“goltalkhair”.
About two days before the wedding the bride invites herfriends for “El Henna”. On this day “Al_hannana” comes todecorate the hands and legs of the bride with henna and alsoher girlfriends. Then they dance and sing and spend a happyday together.That night the groom also has his Henna night with hisfriends and relatives. The groom doesnt decorate his legs,only his fingertips and bottom of feet. This is done for him byhis mother or one of his female relatives. All his male friendsdo the same on their hands.
The wedding party "Al-Dukhla" takes place in houses, largetents, in the streets or in clubs. The brides family gets a singeror DJ. Theres a lot of music and dancing and a beautiful dinneis served. Everyone is invited and everyone is happy. The bridewears a white wedding gown and the groom wears a blacktuxedo. On the first day of the marriage, “Al Subhia”,the brides mother invites all the women of the family and thegirlfriends of the bride. Only certain men can attend the“Subhiya” : the brides father, brothers, uncles, and the groom.The bride dances three or four dances for her audience,changing dresses for each dance. A woman sings and drums onthe "dallooka" songs that all the girls know, and they all singalong, clap and have a great time! After she finishes dancing, its time for thefinal ritual called the "Jirtig". It has special traditions, and aspecial red and yellow tray with pottery to put the perfumesand “bakhoor” in .
The bride wears a red tobeand the bridegroom wears awhite jallabia with red andgolden strips on it.
They sit on a bed with a beautifuldecorated red and gold sheet called“milayat aljirtig”. All the elder womenaround them. And one of the olderwomen comes and wishes the happycouple wealth, health and the blessingof children upon them. She sings “aladeelwalzain” while perfuming them, andties “alhareera” and "hilaal" around thegrooms head, and the "sibha" aroundhis neck.
After that the groom cuts “alrahat” which is arobe that tied around the bottom of the bride and there aresome dates and sweets. After cutting it the groom throws it into thesingle ladies. In Sudanese traditions when a lady catches“alrahat” that means she will marry soon. The groom gets up and sprays the audiencewith perfume. Then the woman offers them a cup of milk.They both take a drink and spray it over each other as a signof love, peace and hope for a clean, pure life together- pure asmilk.ts tied on it.
Ramadan: Manifestations of the social and religiouscelebrations in the Sudan are varied. Ramadan is one of the religious customs in Sudan.it is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in whichparticipating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking andsmoking. Villagers, who work in different Sudanese townsand abroad, return to their villages ahead of Ramadan. Thoseinclude employees, workers and also students. The mosquesare crowded with worshippers all the day .people havereligious programs throughout the day including Koranrecitations between midday and afternoon prayers.
Exhibitions of religiousbooks are also displayedwithin the mosque courtyard.Men and women throng apartto perform the “Taraweeh”(the nightly prayers), whichare performed only duringRamadan. During the“Taraweeh”, one chapter of the30 chapters is recited; windingup the whole holy book by theend of Ramadan, and each“Taraweeh” is concluded withinvocations and poems on theProphet Mohammad.
The worshippers intensify their worshipping activitiesat the last ten days of “Ramadan”. They remain in the mosque tilldawn, in the hope of witnessing “Laylat al-Qadr” (the night whichGod respond the pray). The Program of “Khalwah” (a room where studentsare secluded to memorize the Holy Koran) is run throughout theyear, including the fasting month of Ramadan, except that, duringRamadan, the Koran students are distributed in groups to familiesof the village to share the sunset breakfast.
Sudanese Good habits during Ramadan: Drinking Water: A remarkable habit in the Sudanese villagesduring Ramadan is that people get together in largenumbers on the main streets for the sunset breakfast; agroup of the elders stand at the cross-roads to insistentlyinvite passersby to join in and they never allow anybodyto pass by without accepting the invitation to share thebreakfast. They even force the drivers to stop by placingstones on the road minutes before the breakfast timeand drivers will have no alternative other than park andget down for the breakfast.
Carpets and prayer rugs arestretched for people to have breakfast andperform prayers on after the meal. Usually,those carpets are kept in a certain houseand are taken out only during Ramadan.Men and boys of neighbouring housesusually have the sunset breakfast together.Well before the Azan (call for prayers) themen sit down on the carpets while theyoung men bring in from the houses traysfull of a variety of delicious foods andjuices and immediately after the Azan,every one sits down to eat and drink,starting with a date as a must like whatMohammad the Prophet used to do, fromthe nearest tray, not necessarily the onebrought from his house, signifyingsolidarity and equality between the poorand rich.
Ramadan Tray: Ramadan tray contains genuine Sudanese foods and drinks, particularly “asida” (porridge made from sorghum), “hilu-mur” (sweet-bitter, a drink made from sorghum and all kinds of spices) and “kerkede” drink, “aradaib” ,“tabalde”, lemon and various kinds of fruit and juices. After eating dates and drinking, all worshippers line up behind the imam to say sunset prayers and immediately after that they all assault the trays to squash thirst and defeat hunger.
Ramadan Food: Ramadan is regarded a return to the originalSudanese kitchen and housewives call in their longexperience and prepare genuine delicious Sudanesedishes and foods, including “kisra” which is made fromsorghum, “gurrasah” which is made from wheat flour,salads and other kinds of highly nutrient and deliciousfoods.
“AL-Eid”: The Moslems have two Eids.The first one isRamadan Eid(Eid alfitr) and the second one is the Eid ofSacrifice, or the Eid of Haj (Eid aladha). “Eid alfitr”: when The holy month of Ramadan is aboutto finish families are preoccupied with preparations forthe Eid alfitr as was the case before the advent ofRamadan.
Sudanese like other Muslims across the globe theyprepare for the Eid, most gracious feast and beautiful in Islam. Inthe Eid The markets and shops are full of people despite theincreasing of prices. people buy new clothes, bed sheets,redecorating their houses, some event are replacing old furniturewith new one, all types of sweets, etc… In the past, there usedto be different types and shapes of cakes. The traditionalshapes like (soft cake, biscuits, bidebford and alghariba), buttoday there are new shapes and names of cakes. many women are frequenting beauty shops tocome out in their attractive look during the Eid days.
“Eid aladha”: Eid al_Adha the feast of the great sacrifice, it iscustomary to kill a sheep, and to give a part of meat to peoplewho cannot afford it themselves . Al eid al-kabir (the greater aid) also called Eid al-Adha is one of the two most important Islamic festivals, Eidal-Adha begins on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijja, the last monthof the Islamic calendar. Lasting for three days, it occurs at theconclusion of the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, not simplythose undertaking the hajj, which for most Muslims is aonce-a-lifetime occurrence.
OUR TEAM:Malaz ZakariaSara OmerRawia MirghaniSara OsmanSolafa Ali