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Sudanese Culture Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Angela Burke

Angela has over ten years of teaching experience in Special Education, classroom teaching and GT. She has a master's degree in Special Ed with an emphasis in Gifted.

Sudanese culture is rich with traditions and rituals that make this African country unique. In this lesson, discover how Sudanese people live, eat, and celebrate.

Eating Rituals

Would you enjoy eating dinner sitting on the floor? Most Americans eat their meals sitting at a table. But in Sudan, a country located in northeastern Africa, it is customary to sit on pillows on the floor in a circle to eat. When visitors come, they are offered tea, coffee, soda, and even a meal. Towels and a pitcher of water are passed around for hand-washing before eating—and instead of using forks and spoons, most Sudanese eat with their right hand, while everyone shares the same serving bowl.

This is just one example of Sudan's very interesting customs, which are much different from America. In 2011, the country was split apart into two, forming Sudan and South Sudan. Let's discover more about this culture.

Indigenous Life

Did you know that over 100 languages are spoken in Sudan? Although the official languages are Arabic and English, most of the languages are indigenous, which means they originated there. Many of the indigenous tribes are nomadic, which means wandering. Some tribes move cattle, sheep, and camels from place to place.

Historical picture with indigenous Sudanese
tribe

Animism (pronounced an-uh-miz-um) is an indigenous religion which believes that all objects, such as trees and rivers, have a spirit. Each tribe has their own take on animism, making each religion unique. Many tribes worship their ancestors. Ceremonies are also important. Ceremonies asking for rain and a good harvest are significant occasions.

Family Life

Did you know that it is common in Sudan for parents to arrange their children's marriages? This means the parents decide who their children will marry. Weddings are very elaborate, with hundreds of guests invited. Both the bride and groom's skin are decorated with henna, a dye that is applied to the skin and looks like a tattoo although it can be washed off. Wedding festivities last for days.

Henna
henna

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