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Transcript of Swaziland
The main religions of Swaziland are Zionist (mix of Christianity and ancestral worship, 40%); Roman Catholic, 20%; Muslim, 10%; other (including Anglican, Bahia, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish, 30%).
Part of the local religious scene includes Sangomas (diviners and healers) and Tinyangas ( traditional doctors who heal by faith or with herbal medicines). Batsakatsi (witches) can be paid to place or remove a muti (curse) on someone.
The local God Mkhulumnqande is the Supreme Being who created earth but does not like sacrifices. The men of the tribe however do sacrifice things to their ancestors. Sacrifices must be given to make sure that the life of the ancestor is still going well.
Incwala is a ceremony done by the Swazi tribe to celebrate the first fruits of the season. A highlight of the ritual is when the king eats an entire pumpkin. This ceremony also shows how the king is all powerful because until he eats the pumpkin, the Swazi people are not allowed to begin eating the fruits of their labors.
Currency lilangeni (SZL) 6.73634 Lilangeni per U.S dollar. Language SiSwati is the official language in Swaziland but English is the one used for business. Siswati is read from left to right. If you go to Swaziland, you should know that "Sawubona" is a common greeting that means "I see you". SiSwati has no words for “right” or “left.” So, in giving directions to go left, one refers to “the side of the hand with which you do not eat.” Economy The economy of Swaziland is very dependent on South Africa. Almost 90% of all of Swaziland's imports are from there, and 70% of their exports go to South Africa. They have a GDP per person of $4,500 (CIA-World Factbook). Swaziland has many different industries’s, including agriculture, forestry, mining, and textiles. The national debt is 357million (2003).,which ranks in at 155 on CIAworldfactbook scale of all countries. Soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit are all things this country exports to others. I think Swaziland has a very strong economy because they have a ton of natural resources. The one thing that could in the future hurt Swaziland is its dependence on South Africa. With over 90% of all goods they receive from South Africa, if they have a problem with South Africa, they could be looking at a huge problem because they would have to find another supplier of all the things they currently get from South Africa. In all, Swaziland’s relations with South Africa are very good and will most likely remain so. In all, their economy is very strong and will most likely remain so for the next 20 years or so at the very least. Information Technology Swaziland has 44,000 land lines and 656,000 cell phones. There are very few homes that have internet, mainly business and government buildings. Roughly 2,335 internet hosts are registered in Swaziland. Swaziland has one state-owned TV station; satellite dishes are able to access South African providers; state-owned radio network has 3 channels and there is one private radio station. From this information we can understand that Swaziland is not super connected to the world. While they do have TV and radio, most stations are government owned and control what is broadcast to the public. They are better connected than many countries though because the limited internet they do have is not censored like in some countries, such as China. Few children in Swaziland rot their brains watching TV and playing video games. Music In Swaziland, music is very important to the Swazi people. While Swazilanders do enjoy pop, rock, and rap, music has traditionally been used in ceremonies such as the Reed Dance.
Dance also plays an important role in Swazi ceremonies. The Reed Dance, or Umhlanga, has traditionally served as a display of marriageable girls. During the eight day ceremony, Swaziland’s girls wear elaborate costumes and perform dances and songs according to age group. A slow dance accompanies the moment when they bring bundles of reeds to the royal residence to build windbreaks. This is how many of the marriages in Swaziland take place.
Sibhaca dancing is performed by groups of young men, who stamp their feet to the rhythm of music and chants. Art Art is very important to the Swazi peoples. Traditional folk art often involves the weaving of cotton, mohair, and angora fibers into beautiful rugs and hangings. Another popular art style is soapstone carving and pottery. These are often in the form of wildlife or humans. Food Swazi people eat two meals a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The main diet contains meat, vegetables, and liphalishi (a stiff porridge made from maize). This is eaten at both meals. In rural areas the men eat near the corral and the women in the kitchen. They eat from a single communal bowl. Men usually have spoons but women do not. Women usually cook the food. Basic foodstuffs include beans, fruits (oranges, peaches, and bananas), and vegetables . Meat is an important part of a Swazi meal, although poorer rural families may go weeks without eating it. Meat is eaten with bare hands. Modern urban dwellers may eat traditional foods but are likely to replace the porridge with rice or mashed potatoes. Their meals may also contain fruits and beans, as well as some Western foods. Family Life Family life is very important to the Swazi peoples and usually extended families live together in one house, often led by a grandfather. Both men and women do work, but males own all family assets and women/girls must get permission from them for everything. Children play an important role in Swazi life. Boys work with their fathers and attend school. Girls usually help out around the home, though some attend school. Rural neighborhoods are large single room huts, usually six to eight huts make up one home. Urban houses have tile roofs, masonry constructed walls, and 2 to 6 rooms, plus internal plumbing. Dress The Swazi dress in western clothing for most things, but they do mix traditional and Western styles, however. Traditional dress may be worn for ceremonies and formal settings. The lihiya, a single long piece of cloth, is the one thing that appears in the dress for both men and women. Lihiya are tied around the waist and over the upper body across one shoulder. Men add a lijobo, an animal skin worn at the waist, and they carry a special club known as a knobkerrie. Both men and women wear beaded necklaces. Children wear different colored uniforms depending on which school they go to. Geography Swaziland has 6,703 square miles of land, divided into four distinct regions. To the West is the Highveld, which is 2000 square miles, part of the Drakensberg range of mountains. This area has many man-made forests which have been planted with eucalyptus and pine trees. The Middleveld, in the middle of Swaziland, consists of 1,900 square miles of fertile soil and dense brush. Much of the nation's crops are grown here. Next comes the Lowveld, 2,200 square miles of lowland good for cattle ranching. To the east is the Lubombo region, 600 miles of mountainous land. This area is mainly used for cattle, but also some crops. Swaziland is landlocked and borders South Africa and Mozambique. It is about the size of Connecticut. Gestures/Manners In Swaziland a firm handshake with the right hand is the way to go when meeting someone. It is extremely rude not to greet people on the street, even if you don't know them. Gently touching your mouth with your right hand means please speak louder; placing a single finger on your mouth means please speak quieter. You must always use your right hand to give and receive gifts because the left hand is reserved for personal hygiene. As I mentioned in the language section, SiSwati has no words for “right” or “left.” So, in giving directions to go left, one refers to “the side of the hand with which you do not eat.” Traditions and Holidays The Swazi people celebrate many holidays, the biggest being Incwala. As I discussed in the religion section, Incwala is a ceremony that celebrates the first fruits of the season. This is both a state holiday and a religious holiday for the Swazi peoples. The Reed Dance or Umhlanga has traditionally served as a display of marriageable girls. During the eight-day ceremony, Swaziland’s girls wear elaborate costumes and perform dances and songs according to age group. This is a cultural tradition because the Swazi people have done this dance every year for over 200 years. Another local custom is to pray to the local God Mkhulumnqande. He is the supreme being who created earth. He does not like sacrifices however. The men of the tribe do sacrifice things to their ancestors. Sacrifices must be given to make sure that the life of the ancestor is still going well. Demographics In Swaziland males are 82.6% literate, while females are just
80.8% literate. At birth, a Swazi boy is expected to live to the age of about 48.93 years. A female is expected to live to the ripe old age of 48.39 years. The median age for all Swazi people is only 20.3 years of age. 1,370,424 people live in Swaziland. Nearly 30% of Swazilanders have tested positive for HIV/AIDS. Education Almost all children attend school, it not mandatory though. A male child will on average go to school 11 years while a female student will go to school just 10 years. Schooling is not free and parents must pay to send their children and buy them the uniforms. Students study math, science, and English in most schools, with some schools offering more classes, usually in highly populated areas. Their schools in modern look a lot like ours here in America, but thye are not as large. In rural areas the schools look more like the urban homes in Sawziland Government Swaziland is an absolute monarchy with no written constitution. King Mswati III is the head of state and appoints a prime minister (currently Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini) as head of government. Parliament acts only as an advisory body. There are no formal political parties. The judicial system balances traditional Swazi laws and customs with a version of Roman-Dutch law. The Swazi Administration Act of 1998 gives chiefs extraordinary powers. The voting age is 18. This government has been in place officialy since 1968 when Swaziland became an independant nation. Entertainment Swazilanders enjoy listening to traditional Swazi and western music (only site I found actual Swaziland music on was Youtube), dancing, and being outdoors. They have celebrities, favorite TV shows, and enjoy listening to the radio. They also follow western culture in the fact that they follow our celebrities just as easily as they follow their own. They have a big Music Festival called Bushfire-Swaziland that is one of their largest musical performances of the year. Architecture in rural neighborhoods is dominate by large single room huts. Usually 6 to 8 make up one home. Urban houses have tile roofs, masonry constructed walls, and 2 to 6 rooms, plus internal plumbing. Churches and schools follow the urban way with tile roofs and internal plumbing. Their urban architecture has a European influence, similar to South Africa. Architecture Hospital School History 16th century, Bantu peoples move into what is now Swaziland. Later become the Swazi tribe.
19th century Swazi clans went to war with their Zulu counter parts.
19th century, Swazis ask for help from the British
1881 Swaziland becomes British Colony
1921 King Sobhuza II was crowned Ngwenyama (Lion) of the nation. Ruled Swaziland for Britian.
September 6, 1968 Swaziland becomes independant kingdom
King Mswati III crowned king in 1986, last absolute monarch in Africa.
2002-2004 massive draught causes many Swazi peoples to starve.
2003 law passed banning critisism of the government.
King Mswati III signs constitution, doesn't change anything.
Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini Bibliography National Issues One of the main issues in Swaziland right now is the very high rate of HIV/AIDS. With nearly 30% of Swazi peoples diagnosed, it is an epidemic. Swaziland recently became the country with the highest HIV/AIDS ratio anywhere in the world. One way the Swazi people could get better is if they are tested more often. Fewer people would be able to pass on the disease if it was common knowledge that that person had HIV/AIDS. One of the other main issues in Swaziland is the fact that it has a high rate of sex trafficking. CIA-World Factbook states that Swaziland is at tier 2 for human trafficking. This means that the government of Swaziland is not attempting to stop the trafficking significantly. If Swaziland got a new government, hopefully a democratic one, they would have a better chance of stopping the abuse. With no written constitution is is very hard for the Swazi people themselves to stop it because the government just doesn't have the resources to combat it effectivly. Climate Swaziland has a very varied climate according to region (see geography). Frequent rains in the hot summer (October–February) are followed by a cooler fall (March–April) and a cold, dry winter (April–August). Warmer temperatures return in the dry spring (August–October) Trivia and Fun Facts In Swaziland the king's mother is known as "Ndlovukazi," literally meaning the she-elephant.
In Swaziland it is not uncommon to see a man on his way to work with a spear in one hand and a briefcase in the other.
When King Sobhuza II died, he left almost 120 wives, though the number may easily have been double that.
The current King of Swaziland has 13 wives, one of who was 17 when he married her. I think it is nice that so many different religions can exist rather peacefully in one place. With so much violence caused by religion going on in the world, it really makes me feel good that this many people with different religions can co-exist so peacefully. The Batsakatsi is really cool because even though I don't believe in curses, I can think of a couple of people who I wouldn't mind placing a curse on. The Sangoma or Tinyanga is actually the basis for the witch doctors in popular culture. They have a really nice climate because it is usually not too cold there, and it also doesn't snow. The fact of the matter is that their climate is really good except for drought, which is a constant worry for the Swazilanders. Drought means that they don't get sufficent water to keep their crops and animals well fed and watered, meaning a greater chance of starvation later in the year. I think that the Swazi people have a good diet because I like everything on their main list of foods. Those foods also contain enough protein to keep someone relatively healthy. They also don't have the odds of getting as many disease based with not eating enough vitamin C (like Scurvy) because they eat plenty of fruit. The Swazi have good family life because they like being together. In America it is not very common for a family to do very much with each other. In Swaziland though, that's not true. Swazi people spend a lot of time with each other because they depend on one another for almost everything. They have good clothes choices because it is often very hot there. The less clothes they wear the better. With western dress they can also be professional while following their customs. Plus, with less clothes to wear, the less you have to shop, which is a major plus for this guy. There gestures are really cool because they don't have anything really bad that you can sign. They are very polite which is also good. They are so polite in fact that they say hi to everybody they meet. If we tried to do that in America we would probably be commited. That gives me an idea..... There traditions are really cool because they have been doing them for so long. If we went back a hundred years they would be following the same customs and traditions. Incwala is the most interesting for me because the fact that no one eats untill the pumpkin is eaten by the King, how does one guy eat an entire pumpkin? Maybe their pumpkin are littler than ours. I don't like their government because it is a monarchy. With no democracy whatsoever they will have to depend on their king for everything. If they could get an actual constitution, they might have a better chance of making some progress on their biggest problems (as mentioned in current issues). This would probably also help make the country more economically independendant. Their ideas on architecture are good because the walls keep the heat in during the winter and the heat out during the summer. They are really smart to have tile roofs because they stop most of the rain during the stormy seasons. Their rural houses are also good because they also keep out the rain. olstars.com http://www.southafricalogue.com/travel-tips/sangomas-the-south-african-shamen.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10710488 http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/handmade-batik-africa-folk-art-swaziland-tall http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/handmade-batik-africa-folk-art-swaziland-tall http://worldpics.com.au/Africa/Swaziland/Source/sz001111.html http://swaziland.blogspot.com/ thepresidency.gov.za http://swaziland.blogspot.com/ http://www.ilike2learn.com/ilike2learn/Continent%20Maps/Country%20Maps/Swaziland.html sergiofuentes.net africa.upenn.edu populstat.info frontlinedefenders.org swazi.travel storiesfromswaziland.blogspot.com bedfordschool.org.uk revpatrickcomerford.blogspot.com fundo.wordpress.com banknotes.com "Swaziland." Http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108004.html. Pearson Success. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. <http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108004.html>.
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