Swahili Communication, Etiquette, and Religion

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VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION

The Swahili have different ways of communication. They may communicate through traditional music commonly known as taarab and chakacha. There is also the leso and khanga (a light material made of cotton) which are embroidered with loving messages like nakupenda mwanagu (I love you my child), usinionee kijicho (do not be jealous of my success) and so on. Lessos and khangas are given as gifts to the person you need a particular message to reach.

RELIGION

The Swahili are very dedicated to their Islam religion and they follow every requirement of this religion strictly. Children are required to attend religious classes known as mandrasa from the earliest age possible where they are taught the koran and Arabic. Prayers are said five times a day and they are said in Arabic. The beginning of every prayer must be “Allahu Akbar” which means God is great after which the first chapter of the Koran is recited. Prayers can be offered in mosques or anywhere as long as it is considered clean and as long as one is facing Mecca.

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