Chad has a diverse cultural history as a result of its many peoples and languages. By establishing the Chad National Museum and the Chad Cultural Centre, the Chadian government has aggressively promoted Chadian culture and national traditions. Six national holidays are celebrated throughout the year, with the Christian holiday of Easter Monday and the Muslim holidays of Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, and Eid Milad Nnabi being moveable.
Chadian music has unique instruments such as the kinde, a kind of bow harp; the kakaki, a long tin horn; and the hu hu, a stringed instrument with calabashes used as loudspeakers. Other instruments and their combinations are more closely associated with particular ethnic groups: the Sara prefer whistles, balafones, harps, and kodjo drums, while the Kanembu mix drum sounds with those of flute-like instruments.
Chari Jazz, a jazz ensemble that established in 1964, helped to launch Chad’s contemporary music scene. Later, more well-known ensembles like African Melody and International Challal tried to blend modernism with heritage. Tibesti, a popular group from southern Chad, has adhered to its history more tenaciously by relying on sai, a traditional form of music. Chadians have always despised contemporary music. However, since 1995, there has been a surge in interest in and distribution of CDs and audio cassettes showcasing Chadian musicians. Piracy and a lack of legislative safeguards for artists’ rights continue to be obstacles to the Chadian music industry’s growth.
Millet is the main meal of Chad. It is used to create paste balls that are then dipped in sauces. This dish is known as alysh in the north and biya in the south. Fish is popular, and it is often prepared and marketed as salanga (sun-dried and gently smoked Alestes and Hydrocynus) or banda (sun-dried and lightly smoked Alestes and Hydrocynus) (smoked large fish). Carcaje is a well-known sweet crimson tea made from hibiscus leaves. Although alcoholic drinks are not available in the north, they are popular in the south, where millet beer is known as billi-billi when made from red millet and coshate when made from white millet.
Chad’s literature, like that of other Sahelian nations, has suffered from an economic, political, and spiritual drought that has impacted its most well-known authors. Chadian writers have been compelled to write from exile or as expatriates, producing literature dominated by themes of political oppression and historical debate. Since 1962, 20 Chadian writers have published about 60 works of fiction. Among the most well-known authors in the world are Joseph Brahim Sed, Baba Moustapha, Antoine Bangui, and Koulsy Lamko. Ahmat Taboye, Chad’s only literary critic, produced Anthologie de la littérature tchadienne in 2003 to increase worldwide and young awareness of Chadian literature and to compensate for the country’s lack of publishing companies and promotional framework.
The development of a Chadian film industry has been hindered by the destruction of civil war and a scarcity of theaters, with just one in the whole nation. Mahamat Saleh Haroun directed the first Chadian feature film, the docudrama Bye Bye Africa, in 1999. His subsequent picture Abouna received positive reviews, and his Daratt earned the Grand Special Jury Prize at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival. A Screaming Man, Haroun’s 2010 feature film, received the Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, making him the first Chadian filmmaker to compete and win an award in the main Cannes competition. Daresalam and DP75: Tartina City were both directed by Issa Serge Coelo.
Football is the most popular sport in Chad. During international tournaments, the country’s national team is keenly watched, and Chadian players have played for French teams. Basketball and freestyle wrestling are popular sports, with the latter requiring wrestlers to dress in traditional animal skins and coat themselves in dust.