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Transcript of Somali Culture
2 part family structure
family context consists of the family's structural organization, Somali values about family strength, and the links between family and the Somali community
Family strength originates from the Sunni Muslim religion and Somali cultural traditions
The core of the family organizations and the starting point of the family structure is provided by religion
Somali life is centered around religion and religious beliefs. From religion, the family is the most important aspect and family unity and strengths is central to the culture.
Most Somalis are Muslim and follow the Koran.
The right hand is considered the correct and appropriate hand to use for daily tasks such as eating and writing.
Eye or physical contact between men and women is avoided in public. Only men are allowed to shake hands.
They pray five times a day.
Eating pork and drinking alcohol is not promited.
Owatonna School District
2013-2014 School Year
235 Samali students enrolled in K-12
69 students' primary home language is Samalian
3rd largest language spoken behind English and Spanish
Specific roles are prescribed by religious traditions according to distinct categories for men and women through a hierarchical role structure that supports spiritual unity within the family.
Role functions between men and women are according to public and private domains
Men- dominant in public
Women- dominant in private
Men and elder family members are assigned positions of highest respect of overall responsibility for family unity and well-being. They are the head of the household.
Women are the cornerstone of family life and are central in preserving family strength. They are in charge of finances.
most problematic immigrants
not from Africa because they don't look like "regular black people"
have big foreheads
are on welfare
don't want to integrate into American society
lots of children
should be called Somalian
terrorists or pirates
by Kristi Stolt
Since most Somali students are active learners, they interact well with lessons. Tactile and experiential lessons are best for these students.
A structured learning environment is needed
Instruction on social skills and personal responsibility for possessions and actions
Activities to aid the development of fine motor skills
Allow students to write and work on their writing. This will provide the students with the opportunity to do what they love to do and help them develop their fine more skills.
Colonial rule began in the mid 1800's. The land was divided into several territories controlled by Great Britain, France, Italy, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
In 1960, British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland gained independence and formed the current boarders of Somalia.
After independence a civilian government was established and become allies with the USSR. In 1969, General Mohammed Barre created a socialistic military government with himself as president. He was greatly supported at the start but his regime become increasingly oppressive.
In the late 1970's and early 1980's the people developed clan-based militias to overthrow Barre.
Located on the outer edge of the Somali Peninsula on the Horn of Africa.
Roughly the size of Texas
Capital and largest city is Mogadishu
Values & Beliefs
Most education was provided by Koranic schools before Somalia was colonized.
During colonial rule, education was conducted in the language of the country that ruled; however the government sponsored literacy campaigns in the 1970s and 1980s.
Education was free to all levels until the civil war broke out in 1991.
Secondary Education still remains out of reach for most of the Somali population.
The literacy rate in Somalia
was 24% in 2000.
All diets have a large component of rice, which is a major import. Also a large component is Canjeero, a flat bread made from a grain called teff.
Also imported in black and brown teas, which is the most drank beverage.
Coffee is also a staple beverage, but is made from the covering of the coffee been not the bean itself.
Things Teachers Should Know...
Teachers need to be aware of the understanding needed when interacting with Somali individuals, families, and communities.
Deep-rooted beliefs in the sanctity of the family grounded by the Koran.
A belief of a lifelong respect for parents is seen as a parent's right and a child's obligation.
Strength within the family is valued as well as strong family relationships.
Most values and beliefs fall in line with the Muslim religion.
Interaction with Individuals
Knowledge that unity is essential to family strength
Knowledge that unity is supported in four ways by family members: physical, spiritual, psychological, and social
Interaction with the Family
Teachers need be knowledgeable of certain values while interacting with Somali families.
Interaction with the Community
Teachers need be knowledgeable of certain values while interacting with the Somali community.
Somalia is composed of a single, homogenous ethnic group making Somali one of Africa's largest ethnic groups.
Since 1991, the militias have fought against each other for control of the country.
There has been no effective government and many civilians have greatly suffered from the violence and famine.
In late 1992, the US and the UN stepped in to help. All foreign troops were removed by March 1994.
A civil war erupted from 1988-1991 in Somalia, which let to the exile of Barre in January of 1991.
Not until 2004 was an type of government reestablished in the form of a parliament, and a new president and the current president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was not elected until 2012.
When the civil war began in 1991, people started to leave the country to escape famine, rape, and death. Over one million people fled Somali and neighboring countries. Resettlement programs allowed families of refugees to move to Europe and the United States.
Over the past 25 years, the United States has admitted about 84,000 Somali refugees with close to 40% of them live in Minnesota.
* A refugee is a person who is forced to leave their home to escape persuasion, war, or natural disaster *
the longest coastline of any African Nation, which boarders the Read Sea and Indian Ocean
Landscape: mostly plateaus with rigid mountains to the north
most people are nomadic or semi-nomadic herders, farmers, or fisherman
Weather: north is arid, south has rainfall
They have one uniform language, religion, and culture.
The universal language in Somalia is Somali, an afroasiatic language.
No written language was adopted until 1973.
The second common language is Arabic due to the large majority of the population being Moslem.
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
Teachers need be knowledgeable of certain values while interacting with individual Somalis.
Women's specified gender role functioning is essential to strong families.
Somali children's socialization goals may be significantly different than US mainstream children's socialization goals.
Shifts in social and financial resources pose challenges to family strength.
family strength is shaped and supported through families' reception within local Somali community and religious brotherhood.
Somali students are active learners.
The English alphabet shares many common sounds with the Somali alphabet.
Somali parents are extremely supportive of school, and they show active support in the areas of discipline, homework, and conferences.
Remember to speak slowly to allow better communication and understanding for Somali parents.
Ask questions, be genuine and show yourself as a learner
As human beings we know that everyone is given a stereotype, negative or positive. With this knowledge, it is up to us to change our thinking and the negative thoughts of others. We need stop "judging a book by its cover" and start looking deeper into a person and get to know them.
Somali Refugees in Minnesota
MN meets the needs of refugees
Economy- more available jobs
Education-skilled teachers, developed ESL programs
Resettlement Agencies- 5 Voluntary Agencies that receive refugees
Effective Social services System
Growing Somali community
Dependent on region
South Somalia diet: green vegetables, corn, beans
North Somalia diet: milk and meat (goat, cow, lamb, camel, and chicken)
Somalia cities: diet also includes pasta and canned goods
influenced by religion, age, and gender
traditional wear is more prevalent for special occasions such as weddings
Women's traditional dress is called a hijab.
Men's traditional clothing is called a maawis, and the snug-fitted hat that men wear is called a qofe.
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Somali culture- at a glance.
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Somali Cultural Profile.
Retrieved from: http://ethnomed.org/culture/somali/somali-cultural-profile
Minnesota Department of Education. (2013).
2013-2014 Primary home language Totals.
Retrieved from: http://w20.education.state.mn.us/MDEAnalytics/Data.jsp
Nur, Abdirizak. (n.d.).
Retrieved from: https://360communities.org/files/Introduction-to-Somali-Culture.aspx
Pessoa, M. (2014). All National Stereotypes. Retrieved From: http://www.nationalstereotype.com/all-national-stereotypes/#
Runchey, K. (1999). Working with Somali Students. Retrieved From: http://minnetesol.org/OldSiteAssets/working.html
U.S Department of Health and Human Services Center fro Disease Control and Prevention. (2008).
Promoting cultural sensitivity: Somali guide.
Retrieved from: www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/guidestoolkits/ethnographicguides/Burma/chapters/burma.pdf