Culture of South Sudan

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The culture of South Sudan encompasses the religions, languages, ethnic groups, foods, and traditions of peoples of Southern Sudan.

Languages[edit]

The official language of South Sudan is English.[1]

There are over 60 indigenous languages, most classified under the Nilo-Saharan Language family; collectively, they represent two of the first order divisions of Nile Sudanic and Central Sudanic.

In the border region between Western Bahr Al Ghazal state and Sudan are an indeterminate number of people from West African countries who settled here on their way back from Mecca—who have assumed a traditionally nomadic life—that reside either seasonally or permanently. They primarily speak Chadian languages and their traditional territories are in the southern portions of the Sudanese regions of Northern Kordofan and Darfur.

In the capital, Juba, there are several thousand people who use non-classical Arabic, usually a pidgin called Juba Arabic, but South Sudan's ambassador to Kenya said on 2 August 2011 that Swahili will be introduced in South Sudan with the goal of supplanting Arabic as a lingua franca, in keeping with the country's intention of orientation toward the East African Community rather than Sudan and the Arab League.[2]

Religion[edit]

While Sudan to the north is predominantly Muslim, South Sudan is predominantly Christian and African traditional animist, though Islam is not altogether absent.[3]

National holidays[edit]

2017 Public holidays[4]

  • January 1, New Year's Day
  • January 9, Peace Agreement Day
  • April 1, Easter Day
  • May 1, May Day
  • May 16, SPLA Day
  • June 15, Eid al-Fitr
  • July 9, Independence Day
  • July 30, Martyrs Day
  • August 11, Eid al-Adha
  • December 25, Christmas Day
  • December 28, Republic Days
  • December 31, New Year's Eve

Ethnic groups[edit]

Ethnic groups present in South Sudan include the Nuer, Dinka, Kakwa, Bari, Lugbara and Keliko people, Azande, Muru, Baka, Madi, Mundu, Avokaya, Jur people, Shilluk, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Balanda, Ottuho (Latuka and Lokoya people), Topossa, Lango, Dungotona, and Acholi.[5]

Society[edit]

Most South Sudanese kept the core of their culture even while in exile and diaspora. Traditional culture is highly upheld and a great focus is given to knowing one's origin and dialect. Although the common languages spoken are Arabi Juba and English, Kiswahili is being introduced to the population to improve the country's relations with its East African neighbors.

Music[edit]

Emmanuel Jal at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York 2008.

Due to the many years of civil war, the culture is heavily influenced by the countries neighboring South Sudan. Many South Sudanese fled to Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda where they interacted with the nationals and learnt their languages and culture. For most of those who remained in the country, or went North to Sudan and Egypt, they greatly assimilated Arabic culture.

Many music artists from South Sudan use English, Kiswahili, Arabi Juba, their local language, or a mix of languages. Popular artist Emmanuel Kembe sings folk, reggae, and Afrobeat. Yaba Angelosi sings Afrobeat, R&B, and Zouk. Dynamiq is popular for his reggae releases. Emmanuel Jal is a hip hop artist.

There are few female artists that South Sudan has produced so far. Queen Zee is known for her rap music.[citation needed]

Sport[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011". Government of South Sudan. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011. Part One, 6(2). "English shall be the official working language in the Republic of South Sudan".
  2. ^ "South Sudanese still in Kenya despite new state". Xinhua. 2 August 2011. Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  3. ^ "SustainabiliTank: The animist culture of South Sudan (Juba) clashed with Islamic North and the Divide & Rule Brits. Now they prepare for a January 2011 vote for Independence and the first break-away African State will be born. Many more should be allowed to follow. But this particular case is specifically hard as most people are still centuries behind. About 65% of the people are Christians. 32.9% believe in the traditional African religion. About 6.2% are Islam. The last 0.4% believe in another Religion". Sustainabilitank.info. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
  4. ^ "Holidays in South Sudan in 2017". TimeAndDate.com. 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  5. ^ "The World Factbook". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2014-01-18.