Thursday, August 11, 2022

Traditions & Customs in Somalia

AfricaSomaliaTraditions & Customs in Somalia

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This is a Muslim-majority nation. As a result, be cautious about where you aim your camera. There are many excellent picture possibilities around every turn (the question is generally what to leave out of each shot), but always ask first when shooting people. Never, ever attempt to photograph ladies, even if you are a woman yourself. This is a serious crime that may result in more than a few angry words. Also, do not attempt to photograph anything that seems to be of strategic significance (i.e., has at least one soldier, policeman or, more likely, armed militiaman guarding it).

Respect the Somali people’s Islamic beliefs: women should not wear tube tops or short clothes. It is quite normal for people of any nationality to dress in traditional Somali attire.

If you eat in public during the holy month of Ramadan, you may be fined or even imprisoned. The Islamist militia Al-Shabab may be present in many populated places. They take no lightly to any infringement of Sharia law, and since they are not connected with any government, they are not required to comply by any laws other than their own. They will feel free to punish any inappropriate conduct in whatever manner they see fit, including floggings, amputations, and even executions. Government officials also penalize Sharia law breaches, although they are usually less severe than those enforced by rebels.

Alcohol is illegal in Somalia, and having it can land you in serious problems – and never drink and drive.

Don’t show the soles of your feet to a Somali if you’re eating with him/her. Don’t eat with your left hand, either, since the left hand is considered the “dirty hand.” Similarly, don’t try to shake someone’s hand or give a gift with your left hand.

Allow your Somali friend to buy you anything, whether it’s a dinner or a present. Somalis are very welcoming, and there are usually no strings connected. It is customary to advocate in favor of the measure.

Never bring up religion from an atheistic or comparable perspective. Even highly educated Somalis who have studied abroad will be offended, and doors will shut for you. Also, keep in mind that the Islamic “call to prayer” occurs five times each day and may be heard clearly nearly anywhere. Just keep in mind that most Somalis are used to it and embrace it as part of the cultural experience. You are not required to participate if you are not Muslim, but you should always sit silently and politely until the prayers finish.

Staring is very prevalent in Somalia; children, men, and women may certainly look at you just because you are a foreigner, particularly if you go off-season and in remote areas. This is not intended to be an insult; rather, it expresses curiosity, and a pleasant grin will have the youngsters laughing and showing off, and the adults joyfully practicing their few English words.


Men dress in flowing plaid ma’awis (kilts), western shirts, and shawls. They may wrap a colorful turban over their heads or wear a koofiyad (embroidered cap).

Because of their Islamic background, many Somalis wear long gowns known as khameez/thobe in the Arab and Islamic cultures. In recent years, many Somali men have chosen to wear suits and ties in order to seem more contemporary. This western dress code is prevalent among Somali upper-class and government officials.

Homosexuality is a capital offense. It is customary for Somali men to stroll hand in hand as a show of friendliness, but Western males should avoid doing so. Sharing a hotel room to save money is common, but don’t even think of asking for one bed for two.


Women often wear one of the following outfits: Direh, a long, billowing garment worn over petticoats; coantino, a four-yard fabric wrapped over the waist and knotted over the shoulder. They also dress in an abaya, a long, flowing black robe.

How To Travel To Somalia

By plane Due to Ethiopian troops' recent bombardment of Somalia's airport(s), plane travel to and from Somalia may be difficult. However, plane travel to and from Somalia may be the safest option. African Express, which has connections in Dubai, Nairobi, and other minor Middle Eastern and East African ports of call,...

How To Travel Around Somalia

For 17 years, Somalia was without a functional administration, which, as one would expect, had a detrimental impact on roads and transportation. In Somalia, there are two forms of public transportation available: buses and taxis. The only traffic regulation that seems to still be in effect is that Somalis...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Somalia

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Destinations in Somalia

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Things To See in Somalia

Liido Beach and Gezira Beach, both near Mogadishu, are stunning. On weekends, families usually go. Women must swim completely clothed, but new resort investors have created a separate area for couples, since Somalia is a Muslim nation that prohibits women from showing much of their bodies or mixing with...

Food & Drinks in Somalia

Food in Somalia Meat dominates Somali cuisine, and vegetarianism is uncommon. Goat, beef, lamb, and occasionally chicken are fried in ghee, grilled, or broiled. It's seasoned with turmeric, coriander, cumin, and curry and served over basmati rice for lunch, supper, and sometimes morning. Vegetables seem to be mostly side dishes, and...

Money & Shopping in Somalia

The Somali shilling is the currency used in Somalia (excluding Somaliland), and its ISO 4217 currency code is SOS. Currently, only the SOS1000 note is accepted, and it does not go very far… a glass of (unpotable) water will set you back SOS1000. Exchange rates are highly variable, and...

Internet & Communications in Somalia

The civil war groups almost totally damaged or demolished the public telecommunications infrastructure. Mogadishu and many other population centers already have local cellular telephone networks. Satellite links to the rest of the world are accessible from Mogadishu. International incoming connections are also supported by the cellular infrastructure. Dialup internet...

Language & Phrasebook in Somalia

Somali is Somalia's official language. However, Arabic is widely spoken and is considered a secondary language. Because Somalis are nearly entirely Sunni Muslims, much religious language has been taken from Arabic, but there are also Persian or Arabic loan terms for ordinary things (for example, Somali albab-ka (the door),...

Culture Of Somalia

Cuisine Somali cuisine varies by area and is influenced by a wide range of culinary influences. It is the result of Somalia's long history of trade and commerce. Despite the diversity, one thing unifies the different regional cuisines: all food is provided halal. As a result, no pig dishes are...

History Of Somalia

Prehistory Somalia has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period. The Doian and Hargeisan civilizations thrived here throughout the Stone Age. Cemeteries in Somalia going back to the fourth millennium BCE provide the earliest evidence of burial practices in the Horn of Africa. The stone tools from the Jalelo site in...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Somalia

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