View Full Version : Sudanese customs

10-10-2010, 06:01 AM
Hi there. I need some info for a WIP. First of all, door knocking. Yes, I know it sounds funny but I need to know if they do that. Some cultures clap hands outside the home. What happens in Sudan? The other thing I need to know is what would a low-budget special meal look like there. Thanks in advance for the help!

10-18-2010, 11:21 AM
Since no one else has answered you, I thought I would say something, although my experience comes from my years in Mali, which is well to the west of Sudan. I've noticed, however, in reading books about the Congo for example, that there seems to be quite a few customs in common.
The knocking... some people would knock, some would call out, some would clap or make a hissing noise. When I was living in a smaller town, or visiting in a village it was more likely that people would call out. (They would say "Inichi" which was the equivalent of hey, or hi) I think knocking might be a western thing that was picked up by people in the cities. But I'm not entirely certain.

But, they would find it very unusual if I was inside in any town where electricity was scarce or non-existant. People would spend most of the day out in the compound (a walled enclosure which often included the well, and the huts/houses of different family members), working, talking, drinking tea etc. It was cooler outside in the shade. Everything was done out there. Even at night in the summer, most people would sleep outside or on the roof, and we would watch TV outside in a neighbour's compound.
In a city, it was different because they'd have electricity for air conditioning, so everyone would stay inside as much as possible. Again it would depend on how expensive the electricity was, or how rich the people who had it.
It would be different again depending on the ethnic group. I notice there are Fulani people in Sudan (a nomadic people who were also in Mali) and their customs are centered around following their herds in tents or temporary houses, so they might be different for example, and would definately not have the compounds.

Likewise, your meal will depend on which ethnic group they are and where they live and what time of the year it is. For some people in Mali fish was a gourmet delicacy... for others it was served at every meal. Apples were considered a rare treat in the south... in the place I lived I doubt anyone had ever seen or heard of them them before. We used to get bananas in my town, but in a small village just outside it, one of the women told me she had never tasted one.
Towards the end of the hot season there are simply no vegetables available, except onions and wizened garlic or peppers... and we were an onion producing region, so I'm not sure if that was true for everywhere. A couple of months were mango season and they were everywhere, rest of the year, nothing.
Generally, if it is a very poor family, they will probably have some version of starch (in Mali, rice or millet porridge) and sauce (leaf every day, beef or goat for special occasions, chicken for the queen visiting).
If you need any more help let me know... sorry I can't be more specific... if you have a specific question like for example, what baobab leaf sauce tastes like I'd be happy to help (it's disgusting, but it grows on you)!